Skip to main content
Select Source:

HYPERBOLE

HYPERBOLE. [Stress: ‘high-PER-bo-ly’]. A term in RHETORIC for exaggeration or overstatement, usually deliberate and not meant to be taken (too) literally: ‘Old Celtic myths have been springing up around these hills and lakes since the very start of time’ ( Tom Davies, ‘Home & Garden’, Times Saturday Review, 18 Aug. 1990). Everyday idioms are often hyperbolic: a flood of tears, loads of room, tons of money, waiting for ages, as old as the hills, having the time of one's life. Their purpose is effect and emphasis, but frequency of use diminishes their impact.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"HYPERBOLE." Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"HYPERBOLE." Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/hyperbole

"HYPERBOLE." Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. . Retrieved June 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/hyperbole

hyperbole

hy·per·bo·le / hīˈpərbəlē/ • n. exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally. DERIVATIVES: hy·per·bol·i·cal / ˌhīpərˈbälikəl/ adj. hy·per·bol·i·cal·ly / ˌhīpərˈbälik(ə)lē/ adv. hy·per·bo·lism / -ˌlizəm/ n.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"hyperbole." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"hyperbole." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/hyperbole-0

"hyperbole." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved June 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/hyperbole-0

hyperbole

hyperbole (hīpûr´bəlē), a figure of speech in which exceptional exaggeration is deliberately used for emphasis rather than deception. Andrew Marvell employed hyperbole throughout To His Coy Mistress:

An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast;
But thirty thousand to the rest …

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"hyperbole." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"hyperbole." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/hyperbole

"hyperbole." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved June 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/hyperbole

hyperbole

hyperbole Rhetorical device in which an obvious exaggeration is used to create an effect without being meant literally, such as “the music is loud enough to wake the dead”.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"hyperbole." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"hyperbole." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/hyperbole

"hyperbole." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved June 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/hyperbole

hyperbole

hyperbolebiyearly, really, yearly •Beardsley • lawyerly • immediately •hourly • cowardly • surely • marbly •pebbly •neighbourly (US neighborly) •dribbly, scribbly •Kimberley •bobbly, wobbly •Stromboli •bubbly, lubberly, rubbly, stubbly •husbandly • hyperbole •creaturely, teacherly •Wycherley • elderly •fiddly, twiddly •orderly • puddly •Offaly, waffly •snuffly •straggly, waggly •spangly • laggardly • beggarly •jiggly, squiggly, wiggly, wriggly •niggardly • sluggardly • leisurely •gingerly • soldierly • curmudgeonly •rascally • treacly • tickly • broccoli •knuckly • melancholy • sailorly •scholarly • gentlemanly • seamanly •anomaly • yeomanly • womanly •mannerly • panoply • Connolly •Gallipoli, ripply, tripoli •dimply •monopoly, oligopoly •rumply • purply • matronly •squirrelly • scoundrelly • Thessaly •thistly • tinselly • muscly •Natalie, philately, rattly •dastardly •headmasterly, masterly •schoolmasterly • westerly • painterly •easterly • Italy • winterly •sisterly, systole •writerly • doctorly • quarterly •fatherly • grandfatherly • weatherly •northerly •brotherly, motherly, southerly •grandmotherly • gravelly • Beverley •weaselly • frizzly • wizardly • miserly •Rosalie

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"hyperbole." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"hyperbole." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/hyperbole

"hyperbole." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved June 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/hyperbole