To exacerbate a situation is to worsen or irritate it. The word exacerbate is usually used differently than the word exasperate, although they are commonly listed as synonyms. People usually feel exasperated (frustrated, annoyed) and their problems can be exacerbated (made worse). Remember, exasperated has “per,” so think of a person being annoyed or exasperated and an ulcer, “cer,” being made worse or exacerbated by stress.
Origin: Exacerbate is derived from Latin word exacerbat- “made harsh”, from the verb exacerbare, from ex- (expressing inducement of a state) + acerbus “harsh,
Meanings of Exacerbate:
1. to increase the severity, bitterness, or violence of (disease, ill feeling, etc.); aggravate.
2. to embitter the feelings of (a person); irritate; exasperate
Master’s Tip to Learn Exacerbate:
To memorize the word exacerbate we can take the example of an exam hall, if in an Exam u keep your hand on your head[ie SAR(in hindi)/CER]…you wil WORSEN your paper…or we Can break the word in to ex+acerb+ate; imagine ‘ex’ from expand and acerb- means bitter, harsh; So exacerbate means to expand the bitterness so as to worsen
Sentence examples for Exacerbate:
1. Please try to keep down the noise; it’s exacerbating my headache
2. Some people feel that higher divorce rates will exacerbate teenage behavioral problems
3. You should probably leave him alone for a while; you’ll only exacerbate his anger if you try to talk to him now.
4. Stress can exacerbate your ulcer, so try to relax and take it easy