You searched for: “aggravate
aggravate (AG gruh vayt"), aggravates, aggravated, aggravating (verb forms)
1. To make worse, to worsen, to make more severe; to intensify, to inflame, to irritate, to increase, and to heighten: "Don't scratch because you will only aggravate the itch."
2. To annoy, to exasperate, to anger, to vex, to nettle, and to affront: "His bossy attitude aggravates me."

Aggravate really means to make worse: "The cold weather aggravated his rheumatism." For a long time, many teachers and critics said the word should not be used to mean to irritate, to annoy, or to vex. Today this use is considered acceptable by a vast majority of teachers, critics, and linguists; therefore, you may say, or write, "Stop aggravating me" without feeling guilty.

Word History

The Latin word gravis means "heavy", and aggravare means "to make heavy". From the past participle aggravatus, the English language borrowed aggravate, "to make heavy, weighty, serious, grievous".

Then the sense was transferred from the thing which is made grievous to the person who is annoyed by it, and aggravate acquired the sense of "to provoke, to annoy", sometimes thoughtlessly used in a flippant sense; such as, an "aggravating shoestring".

Picturesque Word Origins; G. & C. Merriam Company;
Springfield, Massachusetts, U.S.A; 1933; page 11.
This entry is located in the following unit: grav-, griev- (page 1)
aggravate, annoy, exasperate, irritate
aggravate (AG gruh vayt") (verb)
1. To make worse, make more severe; to intensify: The school nurse urged Jenny not to scratch the insect bite because scratching would just aggravate the itch.
2. To exasperate, anger, vex: The bossy attitude of Earle's supervisor, Helen Jones, tends to aggravate him a great deal.
annoy (uh NOI) (verb)
1. To cause uneasiness to; especially, by repeated acts; to make somewhat angry: Tammy asked Carson to please let her know if playing her radio would annoy him during work.
2. To trouble, to upset, to disturb: Howard wanted to know why Jennifer had to annoy him during his afternoon nap.
exasperate (ig ZAS puh rayte") (verb)
1. To provoke, peeve, infuriate; "slang": to bug, to turn off: Constant interruptions will only exasperate the speaker.
2. To make someone very angry or frustrated, often by repeatedly doing something agitating: Bradley's and Mary Ann's mother complained that every time they were bickering, it would exasperate her.
irritate (IR i tayt") (verb)
1. To anger, to make impatient, or to provoke: George’s mother was afraid that his whining might irritate the nurse.
2. To make painful, to make sore: Woolen clothing tends to irritate many people; especially, if they have a rash.

The sound of the music from the apartment upstairs is starting to annoy Tara.

If the noise from the radio gets much louder, it will aggravate Connie to the point that it will exasperate her and she might have to go upstairs to speak to Edwin and she hopes that when she asks him to lower the sound that it won't irritate and upset him.