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

transitive verb

: to enlarge beyond bounds or the truth : overstate
a friend exaggerates a man's virtuesJoseph Addison
: to enlarge or increase especially beyond the normal : overemphasize

intransitive verb

: to make an overstatement
ig-ˈza-jə-ˌrā-tiv How to pronounce exaggerate (audio)
exaggerator noun
exaggeratory 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.
Recent Examples on the Web Meanwhile, if your skin is oil-prone, sweat can also exaggerate the oils and shine. India Espy-Jones, Essence, 6 June 2024 Authors like Guðmundsson weren’t exaggerating: Icelanders were likely encountering blues and exploiting them more than any other species of whale. Andrew Chapman, Smithsonian Magazine, 23 May 2024 The rise of remote onboarding in many organizations further exaggerates these complexities as many are left to traverse fluctuating work setups, uncertain career pathways, and ambiguous trajectories from a distance. Essence, 21 May 2024 Both the current Israeli government and Hamas have exaggerated what violence can achieve. Richard English, TIME, 17 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for exaggerate 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'exaggerate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1613, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of exaggerate was in 1613

Dictionary Entries Near exaggerate

Cite this Entry

“Exaggerate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exaggerate. Accessed 12 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


ex·​ag·​ger·​ate ig-ˈzaj-ə-ˌrāt How to pronounce exaggerate (audio)
exaggerated; exaggerating
: to enlarge a fact or statement beyond what is actual or true
exaggeration noun
exaggerator noun

from Latin exaggeratus "exaggerate," from exaggerare, literally, "to heap up"

More from Merriam-Webster on exaggerate

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