exaggerate

verb
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 exaggerative (audio) , -​ˈzaj-​rə-​tiv , -​ˈza-​jə-​rə-​tiv \ adjective
exaggerator \ ig-​ˈza-​jə-​ˌrā-​tər How to pronounce exaggerator (audio) \ noun
exaggeratory \ ig-​ˈzaj-​rə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce exaggeratory (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

Typically, politicians and the public exaggerate the threat while remaining wary of programs that involve public money or patient proximity. Troy Rondinone, The Conversation, "A plan to monitor the mentally ill? History of mental illness and stigma provides insights," 12 Sep. 2019 Nigerians often exaggerate the effect of violence on their citizens. Gilbert M Khadiagala, Quartz Africa, "Nigerians aren’t targeted more than other Africans in South Africa’s xenophobic attacks but the damage is done," 12 Sep. 2019 Eli’s real life, and to this date, there is still some dispute about which of his many achievements are real, and which have been exaggerated into legend. Kristen Baldwin, EW.com, "Sacha Baron Cohen puts his subterfuge skills to good use in Netflix's The Spy," 5 Sep. 2019 George Gonzales, a consulting arborist who assisted an outside expert working with the city, said the risk of tree failure is not exaggerated, based on the standards followed by urban foresters who specialize in public municipal trees. Hillary Davis, Daily Pilot, "Removal coming for some Balboa Island trees, testing for others," 4 Sep. 2019 New research, described last month in Scientific American, demonstrates that climate scientists, far from exaggerating the threat of climate change, have underestimated its pace and severity. Jonathan Franzen, The New Yorker, "What If We Stopped Pretending?," 8 Sep. 2019 The role of Ramona especially resonates in the hands of a mega-watt celebrity whose own physical attributes have been mocked and exaggerated in gross disproportion to her talent. Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, "Jennifer Lopez is a star reborn in ‘Hustlers,’ a smart, bracing tale of strippers turned grifters," 8 Sep. 2019 Your teenage years can be a rollercoaster of emotions and that's without exaggerating. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "15 Facts About Teen Pregnancy You Need to Know," 21 Aug. 2019 The departure led President Donald Trump to nominate Rep. John Ratcliffe, who withdrew after Democrats and some Republicans raised questions about whether the Texas congressman exaggerated his work as a federal prosecutor of terrorism cases. Editors, USA TODAY, "Woodstock 50th anniversary, Philadelphia shooting, Dominican Republic resort closes: 5 things to know Thursday," 15 Aug. 2019

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 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 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.

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Comments on exaggerate

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