Definition of exacerbate:
aggravate, decline, compound, worsen, escalate, do more harm than good, make matters/things worse, heighten, incense, exasperate, increase, provoke, complicate, add fuel to the fire/flames, intensify.
- aggravate (part of speech: verb)
We may assume that the king had at no time the slightest intention of acceding to the demand for guarantees; but it seems to us impossible to maintain that Werther's report, which was put into his majesty's hand at such a critical moment, and which undeniably gave serious offence, did not exacerbate relations which had already been strained, or induce the king to break off abruptly the personal negotiations with the French minister.- "Studies in Literature and History", Sir Alfred Comyn Lyall.
Unless we really put the traffic down with a strong hand, and instantly, we must instantly repeal the treaties that pretended to abolish it, for these exacerbate the evil a hundred fold, and are ineffectual to any one purpose but putting money into the pockets of our men of war.- "The History of the Rise, Progress and Accomplishment of the Abolition of the African Slave-Trade, by the British Parliament (1839)", Thomas Clarkson.
After luncheon, while I was still heavy with the spume of the stout, McNeice asked me if I had seen the new paper which was being published to express, I imagine also to exacerbate, the opinions of the Ulster Unionists.- "The Red Hand of Ulster", George A. Birmingham.