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

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 Say writers made a commitment not to exaggerate the performance of police. BostonGlobe.com, 6 May 2021 To exaggerate a little, in football, the robustness of an institution is on display every week, and not only quarterly earnings in the case of companies, or elections in the case of politics. Mike O'sullivan, Forbes, 30 Oct. 2021 Woodhead applied aging paintwork to exaggerate wrinkles, used shading to drop the jawline and fit Zellweger's blue eyes with dark-grey contact lenses to approximate Garland's black pupils. Hugh Hart, Fortune, 26 Sep. 2019 The work required professionalism and stamina, the ability to hold a pose, to erase one’s particularity, to suppress or exaggerate emotions, and to defend one’s ego and body against male painters who would exploit both. Washington Post, 15 Oct. 2021 Campfire storytellers take a true-life tale and exaggerate it in the spirit of spooky stories told around a fire. oregonlive, 15 Sep. 2021 But Kyrsten Sinema is no Barry Goldwater, and her detractors exaggerate her propensity to buck the party line. William Mcgurn, WSJ, 4 Oct. 2021 But some online posts exaggerate the depth of the drop. Devon Link, USA TODAY, 23 Sep. 2021 Pompeo told Dempsey, seeming to exaggerate the sass factor for his benefit. Los Angeles Times, 30 Sep. 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

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The first known use of exaggerate was in 1613

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Statistics for exaggerate

Last Updated

29 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Exaggerate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exaggerate. Accessed 30 Nov. 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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