Hyperbole

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Hyperbole'

Hyperbole Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    hyperbole n : extravagant exaggeration [syn: exaggeration]
Hyperbole Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Hyperbole \Hy*per"bo*le\, n. [L., fr. Gr?, prop., an overshooting, excess, fr. Gr. ? to throw over or beyond; "ype`r over + ? to throw. See Hyper-, Parable, and cf. Hyperbola.] (Rhet.) 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. Our common forms of compliment are almost all of them extravagant hyperboles. --Blair. Somebody has said of the boldest figure in rhetoric, the hyperbole, that it lies without deceiving. --Macaulay.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Hyperbole'


Hyperbole (pronounced /haɪˈpɜrbəliː/ hy-PUR-bə-lee; from ancient Greek ὑπερβολή 'exaggeration') is the use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device or figure of speech. It may be used to evoke strong feelings or to create a strong impression, but is not meant to be taken literally.

Hyperboles are exaggerations to create emphasis or effect. As a literary device, hyperbole is often used in poetry, and is frequently encountered in casual speech. An example of hyperbole is: "The bag weighed a ton". Hyperbole helps to make the point that the bag was very heavy although it is not probable that it would actually weigh a ton. On occasion, newspapers and other media use hyperbole when speaking of an accident, to increase the impact of the story. This is more often found in tabloid newspapers, which often exaggerate accounts of events to appeal to a wider audience.

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