1530s, "to pile up, accumulate," from Latin exaggeratus, past participle of exaggerare "heighten, amplify, magnify," literally "to heap, pile, load, fill," from ex, here probably "thoroughly" (see ex-), + aggerare "heap up, accumulate," figuratively "amplify, magnify," from agger (genitive aggeris) "heap," from aggerere "bring together, carry toward," from assimilated form of ad "to, toward" (see ad-) + gerere "carry" (see gest). Sense of "overstate" first recorded in English 1560s. Related: Exaggerated; exaggerating.
"unreasonable or extravagant amplification," 1560s, from Latin exaggerationem (nominative exaggeratio) "elevation, exaltation" (figurative), noun of action from past-participle stem of exaggerare "amplify, magnify," literally "heap up" (see exaggerate).
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to, near, at."
It forms all or part of: abate; ado; ad-; ad hoc; ad lib; adage; adagio; add; adjective; adore; adorn; adult; adverb; advertise; agree; aid; alloy; ally; amontillado; amount; assure; at; atone; exaggerate; paramount; rapport; twit.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit adhi "near;" Latin ad "to, toward;" Old English æt.
by 1847 in philosophy; by 1863 in journalism, from sensational + -ize. Originally of audiences ("subject to the influence of sensation") as well as topics ("exaggerate in a sensational manner"). Related: Sensationalized; sensationalizing.
"exaggerated, extravagant, eccentric, passing the bounds of what is usual or proper," 1722, from French outré "exaggerated, excessive, extreme," past participle of outrer "to carry to excess, overdo, overstrain, exaggerate," from outre "beyond," from Latin ultra "beyond" (from suffixed form of PIE root *al- "beyond").
also mole-hill, "mound or ridge of earth thrown up by moles in burrowing," mid-15c., from mole (n.2) + hill (n.). To make a mountain of a molehill "exaggerate an insignificant matter" is from 1560s.
To much amplifying thinges yt. be but small, makyng mountaines of Molehils. [John Foxe, "Acts and Monuments," 1570]
"incredible or extravagant narration," by 1819, U.S. colloquial, from the tendency to exaggerate the size of the catch (or the one that got away). See fish (n. ) + story (n.1).
Do not tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don't tell them where they know the fish. ["Mark Twain," in "More Maxims of Mark" by Merle Johnson (1927)]
Snake-story in the same sense (in telling how long it was) is attested by 1823, American English.
"grotesque or ludicrous representation of persons or things by an absurd exaggeration of what is characteristic," 1748 (figurative), 1750 (literal), from French caricature (18c.), from Italian caricatura "satirical picture; an exaggeration," literally "an overloading," from caricare "to load; exaggerate," from Vulgar Latin *carricare "to load a wagon or cart," from Latin carrus "two-wheeled wagon" (see car). The Italian form had been used in English from 1680s and was common 18c.
A representation, pictorial or descriptive, in which beauties or favorable points are concealed or perverted and peculiarities or defects exaggerated, so as to make the person or thing represented ridiculous, while a general likeness is retained. [Century Dictionary]
1794 "worst condition possible, point of greatest deterioration" (a sense now rare or obsolete), borrowed (by Coleridge) from French pessimisme, formed (on model of French optimisme) from Latin pessimus "worst," perhaps originally "bottom-most," from PIE *ped-samo-, suffixed (superlative) form of *ped- "to walk, stumble, impair," from root *ped- "foot." Compare Latin pessum "downward, to the ground."
As a name given to the metaphysical doctrines of Schopenhauer, Hartmann, etc., that this is the worst possible world, or that everything tends toward evil, it is recorded in English by 1835, from German pessimismus (Schopenhauer, 1819). As "tendency to exaggerate in thought the evils of life or to look only on the dark side," by 1815. The attempt to make a verb of it as pessimize (1862) did not succeed.