Hyperbole /hīˈpərbəlē / noun
Definition: Hyperbole is an apparent intentional exaggeration, language or speech that one uses to describe something as worse or better than it appears to be.
Hyperbole is an extravagant, exaggerated claim or statement that should not be translated literally.
One uses hyperbole to amplify a statement, perhaps on a light note or to show the seriousness of a matter.
It is also a way of writing or speaking that makes somebody sound better, bigger, or more than they already are. Examples of hyperboles include;
- A million things to do
- Driving faster than a speeding bullet
- Smelling from a mile away.
Etymology: The first known use of the word was in the 15th Century. It is derived from the Ancient Greek huperbolḗ by the Latin way. However, unlike most English words starting with hyper-, in hyperbole, the stress is on the second syllable.
In a Sentence
She spoke her deepest intentions with oaths and hyperboles.
‘I am drowning in paperwork’ is a commonly used hyperbole in the office.
Unlike metaphors and similes, hyperboles are not comparisons but are somewhat ridiculous and sometimes extravagant statements not intended to be taken literally.