ag·​grieve ə-ˈgrēv How to pronounce aggrieve (audio)
aggrieved; aggrieving

transitive verb

: to give pain or trouble to : distress
: to inflict injury on
Choose the Right Synonym for aggrieve

wrong, oppress, persecute, aggrieve mean to injure unjustly or outrageously.

wrong implies inflicting injury either unmerited or out of proportion to what one deserves.

a penal system that had wronged him

oppress suggests inhumane imposing of burdens one cannot endure or exacting more than one can perform.

a people oppressed by a warmongering tyrant

persecute implies a relentless and unremitting subjection to annoyance or suffering.

a child persecuted by constant criticism

aggrieve implies suffering caused by an infringement or denial of rights.

a legal aid society representing aggrieved minority groups

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Foreigners who aggrieve the Chinese Communist Party seriously enough typically get banned from the country. Tiffany Ap, Quartz, 4 Feb. 2022 Foyers with overly diminutive lights aggrieve Philadelphia designer Melinda Kelson O’Connor. Elizabeth Anne Hartman, WSJ, 28 May 2021 Sanders’ supporters have every right to be aggrieved at Warren subsequently issuing the code red. Libby Watson, The New Republic, 16 Jan. 2020 Asked about the credibility of some of the testimonies, Lau said the commission will hear from anyone who feels aggrieved by Cicig. Washington Post, 13 Dec. 2019 Colombia: As elsewhere in the region, protesters are aggrieved by corruption and inequality. Washington Post, 4 Dec. 2019 Anglophones were aggrieved at their marginalisation in a country dominated by French-speakers. The Economist, 7 Nov. 2019 Working class Americans, normally a reliable part of the Democratic Party base, were displaced and aggrieved. Rober Kuttner, Time, 30 Sep. 2019 But perhaps not since the impeachment of Andrew Johnson in 1868 has a Congress been so constitutionally and repeatedly aggrieved by the actions of a sitting president. Dan Balz, Anchorage Daily News, 26 Sep. 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aggrieve.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle English agreven "to affect adversely, disturb, distress," borrowed from Anglo-French agrever "to make burdensome, worsen," going back to Latin aggravāre "to weigh down, burden, make worse" — more at aggravate

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of aggrieve was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near aggrieve

Cite this Entry

“Aggrieve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2022.

Legal Definition


transitive verb

ag·​grieve ə-ˈgrēv How to pronounce aggrieve (audio)
aggrieved; aggrieving
: to inflict injury on: as
: to adversely affect the interests of
was not the party aggrieved by the exemption
: to infringe or deny the rights of
a person aggrieved by an unlawful search and seizure Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure Rule 41(g)

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