When you see the word aggravated in the description of a crime, it's a more serious crime. Aggravated assault is more than a punch in the nose — it’s assault with the intent of causing serious bodily harm.

Aggravated is built on the Latin root gravis "heavy," as in gravity, and with the prefix ad-, it means "to make heavy." So robbery is one thing, but aggravated robbery is not only robbing someone, but also causing physical harm, and the punishment would be harsher than for simple robbery. The word is used more casually to mean "angered" — you're likely to be an aggravated customer if you’ve been waiting in line forever and someone cuts in front of you.

Definitions of aggravated
  1. adjective
    made more severe or intense especially in law
    aggravated assault”
    possessing or displaying a distinctive feature to a heightened degree
  2. adjective
    incited, especially deliberately, to anger
    aggravated by passive resistance”
    synonyms: provoked
    feeling or showing anger
Word Family