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hyperbole

[ hahy-pur-buh-lee ]
/ haɪˈpɜr bə li /
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noun Rhetoric.

obvious and intentional exaggeration.
an extravagant statement or figure of speech not intended to be taken literally, as “to wait an eternity.”

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Hyperbole is a super-exaggerated way of describing something for the sake of emphasis that often borders on the fantastical or ridiculous. But what are some examples of hyperbole?

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Origin of hyperbole

1520–30; <Greek hyperbolḗ excess, exaggeration, throwing beyond, equivalent to hyper-hyper- + bolḗ throw
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for hyperbole

hyperbole
/ (haɪˈpɜːbəlɪ) /

noun

a deliberate exaggeration used for effecthe embraced her a thousand times
hyperbolism, noun
C16: from Greek: from hyper- + bolē a throw, from ballein to throw
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for hyperbole

hyperbole
[ (heye-pur-buh-lee) ]

An exaggerated, extravagant expression. It is hyperbole to say, “I'd give my whole fortune for a bowl of bean soup.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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