exaggerate

verb
ex·ag·ger·ate | \ig-ˈza-jə-ˌrāt \
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

exaggeratedly adverb
exaggeratedness noun
exaggeration \ig-ˌza-jə-ˈrā-shən \ noun
exaggerative \ig-ˈza-jə-ˌrā-tiv, -ˈzaj-rə-tiv, -ˈza-jə-rə-tiv \ adjective
exaggerator \ig-ˈza-jə-ˌrā-tər \ noun
exaggeratory \ig-ˈzaj-rə-ˌtȯr-ē, -ˈza-jə- \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for exaggerate

Synonyms

overdo, overdraw, overstate, put on

Antonyms

understate

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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

The payroll records provide the strongest evidence that over the last decade, the government’s five-star rating system for nursing homes often exaggerated staffing levels and rarely identified the periods of thin staffing that were common. Jordan Rau, sandiegouniontribune.com, "‘It’s almost like a ghost town.’ Most nursing homes overstated staffing for years," 11 July 2018 The payroll records provide the strongest evidence that over the last decade, the government’s five-star rating system for nursing homes often exaggerated staffing levels and rarely identified the periods of thin staffing that were common. Jordan Rau, New York Times, "‘It’s Almost Like a Ghost Town.’ Most Nursing Homes Overstated Staffing for Years," 7 July 2018 The payroll records provide the strongest evidence that over the last decade, the government’s 5-star rating system for nursing homes often exaggerated staffing levels and rarely identified the periods of thin staffing that were common. Jordan Rau, BostonGlobe.com, "Nursing homes routinely mask low staff levels," 7 July 2018 Then again, audaciously exaggerating audience size is nothing new. Callum Borchers, Washington Post, "Trump falsely claims his State of the Union viewership was the 'highest number in history'," 1 Feb. 2018 Axios is hardly the only political observer that sometimes exaggerates or cherry-picks polling data to pull the excited or the frightened into a click. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "How to Interpret 2018 Polls Without Fooling Yourself," 10 July 2018 Trump has name-dropped the gang constantly in recent weeks in an effort to raise fear about Latinx immigrants, exaggerating the gangs’ presence in the U.S. and falsely associating incoming migrants with MS-13. Anne Branigin, The Root, "Watch: Civil Rights Icon John Lewis Implores Americans to 'Turn America Upside Down to Set it Right Side Up'," 1 July 2018 As part of his defense for his zero tolerance border crossing policy, Trump has frequently pointed to — and exaggerated — the threat posed by members of the violent gang MS-13 who have entered the United States. Jonathan Lemire And Darlene Superville, chicagotribune.com, "Dismissing 'phony stories of sadness' in immigration crisis, Trump meets with 'angel families'," 23 June 2018 The uncanny resemblance Kim Jong Un bears to his grandfather has reportedly been exaggerated even further with the younger Kim modeling a similar haircut and wearing similar clothes. Jamie Tarabay, CNN, "Who is Kim Jong Un? Separating myth from fact," 5 June 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

14 Oct 2018

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 \
exaggerated; exaggerating

Kids Definition of exaggerate

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

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