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

Unlike their cinematic equivalents, which exaggerate and explode contemporary anxieties in an increasingly anomic world, these plays ask us to consider our acceptance of gruesome shock and awe as entertainment. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Orlando Bloom and Aidan Turner Are Drenched in Blood in London," 4 July 2018 In 2015, an insider whistleblower claimed the group had no real plan to realize its interplanetary pitch and had vastly exaggerated the number of people who'd actually applied. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "A Mystery Investor May Save the Bankrupt Mars One Mission," 12 Feb. 2019 Over the past 15 or 20 years, the climate beat has been handed over to reporter-activists who’ve decided that climate science is impenetrable but at least nobody ever got fired for exaggerating the risks of climate change. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Press Is the Enemy of Climate," 4 Dec. 2018 Spanish defender Gerard Piqué accused Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo of exaggerating a fall to secure a penalty kick in their 3-3 nail-biter last week. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Why soccer players take dives," 21 June 2018 The announcement marks a shifting tide among Democrats, who previously accused Republicans and President Donald Trump of exaggerating the threat that the gang poses. Lukas Mikelionis, Fox News, "MS-13 threat has New York state ready to spend $18.5M to protect youth," 13 Apr. 2018 The Taliban, which has a history of exaggerating its battlefield victories and underplaying its defeats, insisted none of their forces had been present at the ceremony. NBC News, "Children feared dead as Afghan airstrikes targeting Taliban kill dozens," 4 Apr. 2018 The same group previously reported to the FCC that Verizon lied about its 4G coverage, leading to the FCC starting an investigation and announcing that at least one carrier exaggerated its 4G coverage. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "T-Mobile lied to the FCC about its 4G coverage, small carriers say," 13 Dec. 2018 The revelation that Conte's resume exaggerated academic credentials at elite universities in Europe and the United States did not help. Colleen Barry, The Christian Science Monitor, "Italy forms western Europe's first populist government," 1 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

23 Apr 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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