Hyperbole: Definition and Examples of Hyperbole


Hyperbole is a figure of speech in which things or ideas are represented in an exaggerated way, and that is why this is known as Exaggeration, too.

There is a passion in man to exaggerate a thing or idea in order to impress others. Thus, when he admires a thing, he often crosses the limit of reality and pays a glowing tribute to the same. Similarly, when he criticizes or condemns a thing, he becomes extremely bitter, pungent, or even violent.  This habit of exaggeration is a rhetorical device, used for an effect in style. This is the Hyperbole, a figure founded on imagination. This Hyperbole consists in magnifying a thing or idea beyond its natural bound.


The following are the examples of hyperbole or exaggeration :

(i) I am tired of death.
(It is too much to say that one is “tired of death’.)

(ii) His tale would cure deafness.
(It is too much to say that a tale ‘would cure deafness.’)

iii) I’ve seen that movie a thousand times.

(The statement, it is obvious, is an exaggerated one.)

(iv) He runs like the wind!

Although he runs very fast we exaggerated his running speed comparing to the wind.

(v) He’s as skinny as a toothpick.

(vi) …all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten the little hand. – Shakespeare

(vii) Rama is dying of headache.

Although we know no man can die because of headache, so the statement is an exaggerated one.

Also read; A short note on Definition of Zeugma and its examples

Also read: Synecdoche: Definition, Types and examples

Also read; Oxymoron: Definition, Meaning and Examples of Oxymoron