People who chew with their mouths open often aggravate the people near them, meaning that they exasperate their neighbors.

One trick for remembering the meaning of aggravate is to recall that it rhymes with one of its synonyms, irritate. When you irritate, you aggravate. Younger brothers often aggravate their older brothers, because they find it entertaining to get a reaction out of them. Aggravate is also used is to mean "make worse." For example, if you have an old knee injury, it's probably best not to climb Mount Everest, because you might aggravate the injury. If your house is in foreclosure, calling your banker an ugly name is likely only to aggravate the situation. Try a little sweet talk instead!

Primary Meanings of aggravate

make worse
exasperate or irritate
Full Definitions of aggravate

v make worse

“This drug aggravates the pain”
exacerbate, exasperate, worsen
ameliorate, amend, better, improve, meliorate
to make better
ameliorate, better, improve, meliorate
get better
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excite to an abnormal condition, or chafe or inflame
cause inflammation in
cheapen, degrade
lower the grade of something; reduce its worth
devaluate, devalue
remove the value from; deprive of its value
chafe, fret, gall
become or make sore by or as if by rubbing
itch, rub, scratch
scrape or rub as if to relieve itching
Type of:
alter, change, modify
cause to change; make different; cause a transformation

v exasperate or irritate

exacerbate, exasperate
Type of:
make angry

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