to increase the severity, violence, or bitterness of; aggravate

This word appears in the same article as a prior word of the day, plangent. Here is the quote for exacerbate: “Should there be a pandemic, Tamiflu would be in short supply. You should not exacerbate that shortage by abetting hoarding.” One time when I was a teacher I used this word in the classroom, and a bunch of the students started snickering. I had half a mind to tell them that if they kept laughing they’d go blind.

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One Response to exacerbate

  1. Dad says:

    I’ll bet that some of your former students read your blog, remember the incident, and are laughing all over again. Funny.

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