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

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

Joseph Altuzarra offered trousers with high, cinched waists exaggerated by pleated fronts and tapered legs, creating a strong silhouette accented with a boyish blazer and knee-high boots. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "The Top Trends of Pre-Fall 2019," 19 Dec. 2018 The car in question—a Porsche Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo—apparently tries to protect its driver from the law by slightly exaggerating its velocity. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "Can Driving the Inside Lane on the Highway Shorten Your Trip?," 16 Nov. 2018 Yellowface — a white person mimicking and exaggerating Asian features and stereotypes for cinema, theatre, and their own personal entertainment — is a harmful practice that Hollywood encourages to this day. Alisha Acquaye, Teen Vogue, "White People Need to Learn How to Appreciate a Different Culture Without Appropriating It," 23 Aug. 2018 The study also found that when a wife earns more, both husbands and wives exaggerate the husband’s earnings and diminish the wife’s. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Couples Are Lying to the Census Bureau When the Woman Earns More Money," 18 July 2018 Bad third-quarter data is certainly exaggerated by one-off problems among German car makers, which had to adjust to new European emissions rules. Jon Sindreu, WSJ, "The Region That Keeps Disappointing Investors," 31 Dec. 2018 The real fun of the film’s typography lies in its spacing, which draws on the look of letterpress printing and then exaggerates it. Eliza Brooke, Vox, "Sorry to Bother You," 12 Nov. 2018 Dukakis warns Democrats that exaggerating OcasioCortez victory is a serious mistake. Annie Leibovitz, Vogue, "How Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Other Progressives are Defining the Midterms," 15 Oct. 2018 Spain showed off a revitalised Andres Iniesta in Dusseldorf, the Barcelona star demonstrating that rumours of his demise have been exaggerated, before cutting Argentina to shreds in Madrid. SI.com, "England's Impressive Friendly Results Still Leave Too Many Unanswered Questions Ahead of World Cup," 27 Mar. 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

4 Feb 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 \
exaggerated; exaggerating

Kids Definition of exaggerate

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

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