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 But then again, no one has accused Pfizer of trying to exaggerate its clinical trial data. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, "AstraZeneca’s U.S. trial results debacle further widens its credibility gap," 23 Mar. 2021 But that station is an outlier, like others that have been shared to exaggerate rising fuel prices. Rick Rouan, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Gas prices not as high as Los Angeles photo would have you believe," 20 Mar. 2021 There are reasons why some people may wish to highlight or even exaggerate bitcoin’s power consumption, just as there are ideological reasons people wish to robustly defend it. Lawrence Wintermeyer, Forbes, "Bitcoin’s Energy Consumption Is A Highly Charged Debate – Who’s Right?," 10 Mar. 2021 Even with the new system, many homes still appear to exaggerate how much time nurses spend with patients. New York Times, "Maggots, Rape and Yet Five Stars: How U.S. Ratings of Nursing Homes Mislead the Public," 13 Mar. 2021 The reports are peppered with alternate explanations for why Justice or her brother may have claimed abuse: The boy tends to exaggerate things, a teacher said. Hannah Phillips, orlandosentinel.com, "Seminole child protection officials missed chances before abused 5-year-old’s death, state says," 23 Feb. 2021 People can overplay — exaggerate — illiberalism and intolerance on our campuses. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, "The COVID toll, &c.," 24 Feb. 2021 Triber did not exaggerate the rigorous official and unofficial enforcement elsewhere. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, "Blackouts and air raid preparedness were taken seriously in nearly all American cities during WWII. Not Anchorage.," 1 Feb. 2021 But prison health and condition experts said there are multiple reasons that exaggerate the skepticism, from a history of medical experimentation on prisoners to a lack of information in lockups. Jolie Mccullough Jolie Mccullough, ExpressNews.com, "Texas hasn’t said when or how inmates will receive the coronavirus vaccine," 25 Dec. 2020

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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Statistics for exaggerate

Last Updated

15 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Exaggerate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exaggerate. Accessed 7 May. 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.

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Comments on exaggerate

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