Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect, as in I could sleep for a year or This book weighs a ton.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Extreme exaggeration or overstatement; especially as a literary or rhetorical device.
  • n. Deliberate exaggeration.
  • n. An instance or example of this technique.
  • n. A hyperbola.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A figure of speech in which the expression is an evident exaggeration of the meaning intended to be conveyed, or by which things are represented as much greater or less, better or worse, than they really are; a statement exaggerated fancifully, through excitement, or for effect.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In rhetoric, an obvious exaggeration; an extravagant statement or assertion not intended to be understood literally.
  • n. Synonyms See exaggeration.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. extravagant exaggeration

Etymologies

Latin hyperbolē, from Greek huperbolē, excess, from huperballein, to exceed : huper, beyond; see hyper- + ballein, to throw; see gwelə- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin hyperbole, from Ancient Greek ὑπερβολή (huperbolē, "excess, exaggeration"), from ὑπέρ (huper, "above") + βάλλω (ballō, "I throw"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • This word was used in a Buffy episode when a girl's hands caught fire.

    July 4, 2012

  • Hyperbole is a writing vice, but I stand by the claim that I gave Drew...quite literally the fright of his life. From "The Last Werewolf" by Glen Duncan.

    March 18, 2012

  • I'm sure she'll negosiate a way out.

    April 8, 2011

  • Australia's Prime Minister has come under attack for mispronouncing hyperbole.

    April 7, 2011

  • hy (su) perbole

    June 22, 2010

  • ADHD superbowl..?

    August 10, 2009

  • I prefer using this word in its adverb form. It sounds so fancy.

    Hyperbolically, I told him I would rather die then go out with him.

    May 16, 2009

  • Best word ever.

    April 24, 2009

  • Now he tasted the rare and godlike joys of the man who sees his flights of hyperbole come true. -- ''Yashima, or, The Gorgeous West'' by R T Sherwood, 1931.

    December 24, 2008

  • This is, hands down, the absolute greatest word in the entire history of language, an unparalleled masterpiece of phonemic perfection, harbinger of the futility of all other words. Would I lie? If English were a nation-state, hyperbole would be king, nay, emperor, nay, supreme benevolent dictator of the universe.

    And overthrowing it, friend, is nowhere near even the slightest glimpse of possibility.

    January 27, 2007

  • I overthrow hyperbole - what is hypobole - undershoot??????

    January 27, 2007

  • I like to "spew vitriolic hyperbole" while intoxicated. Usually of a misantropic inclination...

    December 26, 2006