views updated May 23 2018

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.


views updated May 09 2018

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.


views updated Jun 11 2018

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”.