exaggerate

verb
ex·​ag·​ger·​ate | \ ig-ˈza-jə-ˌrāt How to pronounce exaggerate (audio) \
exaggerated; exaggerating

Definition of exaggerate

transitive verb

1 : to enlarge beyond bounds or the truth : overstate a friend exaggerates a man's virtues— Joseph Addison
2 : to enlarge or increase especially beyond the normal : overemphasize

intransitive verb

: to make an overstatement

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Other Words from exaggerate

exaggerative \ ig-​ˈza-​jə-​ˌrā-​tiv How to pronounce exaggerative (audio) , -​ˈzaj-​rə-​tiv , -​ˈza-​jə-​rə-​tiv \ adjective
exaggerator \ ig-​ˈza-​jə-​ˌrā-​tər How to pronounce exaggerator (audio) \ noun
exaggeratory \ ig-​ˈzaj-​rə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce exaggeratory (audio) , -​ˈza-​jə-​ \ adjective

Examples of exaggerate in a Sentence

The book exaggerates the difficulties he faced in starting his career. It's impossible to exaggerate the importance of this discovery. He tends to exaggerate when talking about his accomplishments. He exaggerated his movements so we could see them more clearly.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Trump’s exaggerated red tie has become famous in its own right, becoming even lengthier thanks to the magic of Photoshop: The look, however, is working for some people: The red tie appears to be sold out at the official online Trump Store. Justin Rohrlich, Quartz, "There’s been a run on red neckties at the Trump Store," 1 July 2019 James is also investigating whether Trump exaggerated his wealth to obtain loans. Washington Post, "Trump lashes out at New York governor, attorney general," 1 July 2019 The sad reality is that there is no shortage of individuals and entities with a vested interest in exaggerating racial tensions in the U.S.—from civil-rights organizations to corporate diversity officers to professors of race and gender studies. Jason L. Riley, WSJ, "Hate Crime Hoaxes Are More Common Than You Think," 25 June 2019 Senator Richard Blumenthal, who has exaggerated once or twice in his life, said that students, innovators, consumers, and entrepreneurs would all suffer because of the repeal. Christopher Tremoglie, National Review, "We Survived the Net-Neutrality Apocalypse," 17 June 2019 Romine-Mann said police exaggerated the trajectory of the bucket’s slime. oregonlive.com, "2 Portland protesters who doused cops with buckets of glitter mixed with lubricant get 5 days in jail," 7 June 2019 To make matters worse, a video emerged of Biden exaggerating his academic record while speaking angrily to a voter in New Hampshire. Author: Neena Satija, Anchorage Daily News, "Echoes of Biden’s 1987 plagiarism scandal continue to reverberate," 5 June 2019 With its off-the-shoulder silhouette and exaggerated ruching, the frock harkened back to the glamorous cocktail dresses of the 1980s. Vogue, "Amal Clooney Puts an Elegant Twist on the Plastic Shoe Trend," 8 May 2019 Trump has increased enforcement against gang activity, but there’s evidence that his administration is exaggerating the effect his policies are having on MS-13. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "Despite Hyper-Aggressive Rhetoric, Trump’s MS-13 Strategy Isn’t Very Comprehensive," 3 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of exaggerate

1613, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for exaggerate

borrowed from Latin exaggerātus, past participle of exaggerāre "to heap up, construct by piling up, increase in significance," from ex- ex- entry 1 + aggerāre "to heap up over, form into a heap," verbal derivative of agger "rubble, earthwork, rampart, dam," noun derivative of aggerere "to bring, carry (to or up), push close up (against)," from ag- ag- + gerere "to carry, bring" — more at jest entry 1

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Statistics for exaggerate

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for exaggerate

The first known use of exaggerate was in 1613

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More Definitions for exaggerate

exaggerate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of exaggerate

: to think of or describe something as larger or greater than it really is
: to make (something) larger or greater than normal

exaggerate

verb
ex·​ag·​ger·​ate | \ ig-ˈza-jə-ˌrāt How to pronounce exaggerate (audio) \
exaggerated; exaggerating

Kids Definition of exaggerate

: to describe as larger or greater than what is true She exaggerated her successes.

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Comments on exaggerate

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