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 exaggerate (audio) , -​ˈzaj-​rə-​tiv , -​ˈza-​jə-​rə-​tiv \ adjective
exaggerator \ ig-​ˈza-​jə-​ˌrā-​tər How to pronounce exaggerate (audio) \ noun
exaggeratory \ ig-​ˈzaj-​rə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce exaggerate (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 Workplace dramas tend to exaggerate the thrills of the hospital, the police precinct, or the courtroom—settings where the stakes are already clear. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, 23 Aug. 2021 Experts say hydrogen peroxide does have an array of uses, but some of the recommendations in the post can be harmful, and others exaggerate its effectiveness. Nayeli Lomeli, USA TODAY, 11 Aug. 2021 As professional writers, historians and political theorists are naturally prone to exaggerate the significance of literature. Aldous Huxley, Harper's Magazine, 17 Aug. 2021 Blueland’s products speak for themselves without me as a spokesperson or our team manipulating marketing materials to exaggerate patriotism. Sarah Paiji Yoo, Marie Claire, 4 Aug. 2021 In fact, Berman and others, in framing the NXIVM story as a #MeToo morality tale about coerced consent, are prone to exaggerate Raniere’s mind-controlling powers. Zoë Heller, The New Yorker, 5 July 2021 Black exteriors exaggerate the hot and heavy feeling of stifling days, said Boca Raton, Fla., interior designer Laetitia Laurent. Yelena Moroz Alpert, WSJ, 10 June 2021 Halston does not exaggerate Liza and Halston's love for one another one bit. Leah Marilla Thomas, refinery29.com, 16 May 2021 But bill proponents often exaggerate Eastwood’s accomplishments or take them out of context. Ryan Sparrow, USA Today, 30 June 2021

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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Time Traveler for exaggerate

Time Traveler

The first known use of exaggerate was in 1613

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Dictionary Entries Near exaggerate

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Statistics for exaggerate

Last Updated

6 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Exaggerate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exaggerate. Accessed 18 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for exaggerate



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


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on exaggerate

Nglish: Translation of exaggerate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of exaggerate for Arabic Speakers


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