Pronouncing exacerbate may seem difficult, but it’s actually not too hard once you know how. Follow these simple tips and you’ll be able to say it like a pro in no time!
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To exacerbate something is to make it worse. If you have a cold and you go outside without a coat, you might exacerbate your condition and end up with pneumonia.
The word exacerbate comes from the Latin exacerbatus, which is the past participle of exacerbare, meaning “to irritate or annoy.” When you exacerbate something, you aggravate it or make it more intense. A cold can turn into bronchitis, which can then turn into pneumonia — each step is an exacerbation of the original illness.
The emphasis is on the second syllable
The word exacerbate is pronounced with the emphasis on the second syllable – ex-AS-er-bate. The verb means to make a problem or wound worse, or to intensify something that is unpleasant.
The word “exacerbate” is often used to describe making a bad situation worse
The word “exacerbate” is often used to describe making a bad situation worse. It can be used in reference to physical pain, like when a person breaks their arm and then aggravates the injury by trying to play tennis. Exacerbate can also be used to describe making an emotional situation worse, like when two people are arguing and one person brings up a sensitive topic that makes the other person even more angry.
The word “exacerbate” comes from the Latin “exacerbare,” which means “to make worse.” The root of this word is “acer,” meaning “sharp” or “bitter.” When you break down the word “exacerbate,” you can see that it literally means “to make sharp or bitter.”
So how do you pronounce “exacerbate?” The easiest way is to break it down into its root words: ex- + acerb + ate. To make the word less daunting, you can also think of it as ex- + ACE + -ber- + -ate. The stress falls on the second syllable, so it would be pronounced eks-AS-er-bayt.