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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Aggravation \Ag`gra*va"tion\, n. [LL. aggravatio: cf. F. aggravation.]

  1. The act of aggravating, or making worse; -- used of evils, natural or moral; the act of increasing in severity or heinousness; something additional to a crime or wrong and enhancing its guilt or injurious consequences.

  2. Exaggerated representation.

    By a little aggravation of the features changed it into the Saracen's head.

  3. An extrinsic circumstance or accident which increases the guilt of a crime or the misery of a calamity.

  4. Provocation; irritation. [Colloq.]

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

late 15c., from Middle French aggravation, from Late Latin aggravationem (nominative aggravatio), noun of action from past participle stem of Latin aggravare "make heavier," figuratively "to embarrass further, increase in oppressiveness," from ad "to" (see ad-) + gravare "weigh down," from gravis "heavy" (see grave (adj.)). Oldest sense is "increasing in gravity or seriousness;" that of "irritation" is from 1610s.


n. 1 The act of aggravate, or making worse; used of evils, natural or moral; the act of increasing in severity or heinousness; something additional to a crime or wrong and enhancing its guilt or injurious consequences. 2 Exaggerated representation. 3 An extrinsic circumstance or accident which increases the guilt of a crime or the misery of a calamity.

  1. n. an exasperated feeling of annoyance [syn: exasperation]

  2. unfriendly behavior that causes anger or resentment [syn: irritation, provocation]

  3. action that makes a problem or a disease (or its symptoms) worse; "the aggravation of her condition resulted from lack of care" [syn: exacerbation]

Aggravation (law)

Aggravation, in law, is "any circumstance attending the commission of a crime or tort which increases its guilt or enormity or adds to its injurious consequences, but which is above and beyond the essential constituents of the crime or tort itself."

Aggravated assault, for example, is usually differentiated from simple assault by the offender's intent (e.g., to murder or to rape), the extent of injury to the victim, or the use of a deadly weapon. An aggravating circumstance is a kind of attendant circumstance and the opposite of an extenuating or mitigating circumstance, which decreases guilt.

The antonym of aggravation is mitigation.


Aggravation may refer to:

  • Titled works:
    • Aggravation (1896), painting by Briton Rivière, English artist
    • Aggravation (board game), with marbles as well
    • Recorded music:
      • "Aggravation" (1966), single by Chris Curtis, an English musician
      • "Aggravation" (1973), song by Martha Veléz, an American singer
      • "Aggravation" (1989), song on UK Jive, by The Kinks
      • Aggravation (1991), album by Treponem Pal, a French band
  • Events that worsen:
    • Aggravation (law) of a crime
    • Aggravation of a symptom
Aggravation (board game)

Aggravation is a board game for up to four players and later versions for up to six players, whose object is to be the first player to have all four playing pieces (usually represented by marbles) reach the player's home section of the board. The game's name comes from the action of capturing an opponent's piece by landing on its space, which is known as "aggravating".

Aggravation is one of the many variations of the game Pachisi. It was first produced in 1960 by CO-5 Company. Later versions were made by Minneapolis-based Lakeside Industries, a division of Leisure Dynamic. Today, it is manufactured by Winning Moves, under license from Hasbro.

Its distinctive features are that the track that accommodates from four to six players, unlike other Pachisi-like games which only allow four; that it is normally drilled to accept colored glass marbles as playing pieces; and that it incorporates "shortcuts". There are no "safe" holes where a player's marbles cannot be captured (or "aggravated", in the game's parlance) other than the player's own base and home sections.

Older versions of the game usually feature an asterisk-shaped board, which is perfectly symmetrical and identical in shape and size from all angles. In addition, older versions allowed up to four players instead of six. However, modern versions of the game produced by Parker Brothers are made in an irregular pattern with a shape that varies for each player, though all players must travel an equal number of spaces in order to reach their respective home sections.

Usage examples of "aggravation".

This deadly and incoherent mixture of treason and magic, of poison and adultery, afforded infinite gradations of guilt and innocence, of excuse and aggravation, which in these proceedings appear to have been confounded by the angry or corrupt passions of the judges.

I, who was already overwhelmed with distress, could bear this aggravation of misfortune and disgrace: I, who had always maintained the reputation of loyalty, which was acquired at the hazard of my life, and the expense of my blood.

Jim tried, without much success, to keep the aggravation out of his voice.

In rare cases, however, there can be a slight aggravation of the symptoms on commencing treatment.

In fact, an aggravation of the symptoms is evidence that the right remedy has been selected and is at work.

After five minutes of aggravation they were able to array it smoothly if somewhat askew upon the wall.

But all these petty aggravations fade into insignificance compared with the things Bev and I have seen this week.

Bren chuckled as Iral nodded absently, wooden pegs held in his teeth and Rian stomped in aggravation.

Hep Keng or whatever his name is, and walked into serious aggravation.

Repeated attacks of lymphangitis have occurred during this period, each producing an aggravation of the previous condition.

Sitting alone in the darkness amplified the torpor that had pervaded me, and though I sensed certain unsettling dissonances surrounding what had just taken place, I was not sufficiently alert to consider them as other than aggravations.

All the unowned dogs who stray into the Inns of Court and pant about staircases and other dry places seeking water give short howls of aggravation.

If they found these new States fiercely anti-American and extremely unprogressive, they would experience that aggravation of their difficulties with which our statesmen have had to deal.

I saw the necessity of putting an end to her suspense, and of preventing the news from reaching her with fallacious aggravations or at an unseasonable time.

Lee may have been justified in some of his anger at Franklin, Adams felt, but Lee was badly cast in his role, a dreadful aggravation to Franklin and also to the French, who not only disliked him but distrusted him, which was more serious.