Hyperbole is the use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device or figure of speech. Hyperbole is used for emphasis, similar to exaggeration.

It may be used to evoke strong feelings or to create a strong impression, but are clearly distinguishable from statements whose intended literal meaning is false.


What Is hyperbole

What Is hyperbole?

Hyperbole is a figure of speech that uses exaggeration to make a point. It’s often used in literature, film and other forms of writing to add emphasis, humor or drama to a work.

In “The Iliad,” the Greek poet Homer used hyperbole in his description of the great warrior Achilles’ shield.

Hyperbole can also be used in everyday situations to emphasize how strongly you feel about something or to tell a quick story.

Hyperbole also includes statements that are so over-the-top ridiculous that they are obviously untrue. Examples: “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse.”



What Is Hyperbole?

In figurative usage, hyperbole may be understood as the use of exaggeration in order to emphasize one’s meaning.

Hyperbole is also present in satire and irony, as well as other tropes.

Hyperboles are often used to create emphasis; some are used for their effects on other readers or listeners (and thus are sometimes considered literary devices), such as “The ship sank for days” when a ship actually sank for hours.

When writers use hyperbole, there are two main types: comparative and non-comparative.

Comparative hyperbole is when an author makes a comparison between two things using exaggeration to emphasize the difference between them.

Non-comparative hyperbole is when an author uses exaggeration without making a comparison between two things.

When overused in advertising, hyperbole can be a form of misleading advertising.

Examples Of Hyperbole

Hyperbole is an extravagant statement or expression of praise or commendation. It involves deliberately exaggerating for effect.

Example: Apple’s new gadget is so thin it could fit in a small envelope. Hyperboles are not lies because the intention is to praise, not deceive.


The name comes from the Greek word hyperbole, which literally means “overthrow.” This reflects the fact that hyperboles are often used to exaggerate an inferior position into a superior one.

Example: The fries were so hot they could have cooked eggs on the spot.Hyperboles can be introduced to spice up our speech and writing.

They can also be used as a joke or to convey irony or sarcasm. Hyperbole does not happen accidentally; it must be intentional.

When writers use hyperbole, it is important for them to consider whether their audience will understand and appreciate the exaggeration.

Using hyperbole can create confusion if it is misplaced or misinterpreted by readers.

Hyperbole is a figure of speech that uses extreme exaggeration to make a point. Hyperboles are usually obvious, but some people consider them to be lies.

Here are some examples of hyperbole:

“I’m so hungry I could eat a horse!””My feet hurt so much, I could cry.””This book is so good, I could write an essay on it.” “I’m so thirsty, I could drink a gallon of water.””I’m so tired, I could sleep for 24 hours straight.””I’m so sleepy, that I could fall asleep right now and not wake up for 6 months.”

First Known Use Of Hyperbole

The precise source of the English word hyperbole is uncertain, but it appears to have been in use for a long time. The Oxford English Dictionary lists its first known use as 1374.

The term originally referred to a group of rhetorical figures of speech that involve extravagant exaggeration or overstatement.

Taken literally, hyperbole is an example of what logicians call overstatement and is found in various kinds of figurative language such as metaphors, similes, and parables. Figurative language is used to express ideas through comparisons that are not literally true.

In this type of comparison, two essentially unlike things are made to seem similar on the basis of some similarity they do share. Similes compare two things using the words “like” or “as.” For example, one might say, “The moon was like a silver dollar.”

A metaphor makes use of a figure of speech called a trope.

In this case, someone might say that the moon was a silver dollar because it has the function or purpose of coinage.

The word hyperbole (or hyperbola) can also refer to a curve with specific characteristics that are useful in mathematics and physics. However, when we use the term hyperbole today, it generally refers to rhetorical exaggeration rather than mathematical curves.

History And Etymology For Hyperbole

Hyperbole is an overstatement. Hyperbole can be used for emphasis, as well as humor.

The word hyperbole comes from the Greek words “hyper” meaning “over” and “ballein” which means “to throw.”

A common type of hyperbole is exaggeration. For example, when someone says “this is the best pizza I’ve ever had” they are exaggerating because they are trying to emphasize their point by suggesting that this pizza is so good it’s the best pizza he or she ever tasted.

Another common type of hyperbole is understatement, which is when someone uses words to express an extreme difference between what they are describing and its reality. This can be used for humor or to make a point about how something is better than others believe it to be.

When someone says “it’s not bad,” in reference to something that most people think is really good, this person is using understatement in order for his or her point about how good the food or drink is to be understood.

The word hyperbole has also been used as a literary device in many famous works of literature such as Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar where Mark Antony said “… Brutus is an honorable man…” He was being ironic because Brutus had just tried to kill him.

Hyperbole, And Other Fancy Rhetorical Words

Hyperbole is a figure of speech in which statements are exaggerated for emphasis or effect. Hyperbole can be useful, but overusing it can be annoying to your readers.

The definition of hyperbole is “an obvious exaggeration used for emphasis or effect.”

Hyperbole is commonly used in casual conversation. In fact, any time you say something like “I could just die!” you’re using hyperbole. Hyperbole is also a popular tool in the advertising field.

For example, if a company says its new product will “revolutionize the industry,” that’s an example of hyperbole because very few products revolutionize an entire industry.

Hyperbole can be viewed as dishonest because it implies that someone or something has more value than it really does. For example, if someone says he has “the best pizza in the world,” he’s using hyperbole to imply that his pizza costs less and tastes better than higher-priced pizzas from other restaurants.

The key to using hyperbole effectively is knowing how far you can stretch the truth without sounding ridiculous.

When you exaggerate beyond what would be realistic and reasonable, your audience might not believe anything else you say and may have trouble taking you seriously. 

Hyperbole vs. Metaphor And Simile

Hyperbole and Metaphor are two of the most common literary figures of speech.

Truly, hyperbole is a figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect. Whereas, metaphor is a figure of speech in which an implied comparison is made between two unlike things that actually have something in common.

It’s not simply saying that I’m “as smart as Einstein,” but going further to say I’m “smarter than a supercomputer.”

Simile, on the other hand, is a figure of speech in which an explicit comparison is made between two unlike things using so, like, such as, or than. For example: “I am as smart as Einstein.” “That book was like reading a dictionary.”

The above statements are both examples of simile because they use like and as to explicitly compare two unlike things (my intelligence to Einstein; reading to a dictionary).

It’s important to remember that both hyperbole and simile are types of figurative language and not literal statements. For example: “My car is faster than Superman’s” makes the statement that my car can fly, which it cannot. 

The statement uses the name Superman as an emotional appeal to make you think my car can do amazing things (like flying). 

Examples Of Hyperbole In Literature

Hyperbole is a literary device that uses exaggeration to produce emphasis or humor. Hyperboles are not to be mistaken for lies, as they are not intended to deceive.

An author can exaggerate the greatness of something to generate excitement when writing a novel or short story.

The writer of Ecclesiastes 10:19 employs this form of exaggeration when he writes, “Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?”

How does hyperbole work in literature?

Hyperbole can be used in different ways by different authors. Sometimes it is used as an intensifier; other times it is used as a means of humor.

It can make an ordinary statement into something extraordinary or startling. Some examples include:

I’m so hungry I could eat a horse!

Examples Of Hyperbole In Film

Hyperbole is a figure of speech that uses overstatement to emphasize an idea. It can be used to create a strong emotional response or to express the author’s feelings about a subject.

Hyperbole is often used in comedy, advertising, and politics.

Trees are tall, but a redwood tree is taller than any other tree.

Coffee is hot, but a cup of black coffee from Starbucks could burn your tongue.

Smoking causes cancer, but secondhand smoke causes more cancer than cigarette smoking does.Hyperbole is used to emphasize an idea or emotion rather than the truth.

It’s an exaggeration or overstatement, and it’s usually intended to be humorous or attention-getting.

Examples of hyperbole in literature include:

The trees were tall; they seemed like towering redwoods–taller than I had ever seen before in my life (The Lorax). This exaggeration emphasizes the size of the trees and makes them seem impossibly high—they are as tall as massive redwoods.

“I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion” (A Tale of Two Cities). 

Examples Of Hyperbole In Speeches

Let’s have a look at some of the most common examples of hyperbole in speeches.

Tall Tales

One of the most popular ways to exaggerate is to tell a tall tale to make a point. Tall tales are stories usually meant to entertain or amuse.

They are not supposed to be taken as literal truth.

Tall tales are exaggerated stories that are sometimes hard to believe, although they may have originated from real life events. The story might have even been passed down for generations before it was finally told in an entertaining way.

Tall tales are often the type of stories that people tell over and over again until they become legendary.

Examples Of Hyperbole In Speeches

“I’m just glad to be here.” -No you’re not, you’re actually miserable and wish you were somewhere else!

“I’m not feeling very well today.” -Then why are you here? Go home!

“I’ve been working on this speech for ages.” -That can’t be true because it only took you 3 hours to write it!

When using hyperbole in speeches, speakers tend to use words like: always, never, forever, totally and many more. These words are used in order to exaggerate the meaning behind their statement. 

Examples Of Hyperbole In Songs

The term hyperbole is used to describe an exaggeration. In literary terms, it is a form of expression that creates a deliberate overstatement to achieve emphasis or effect.

One form of hyperbole is using superlatives, such as extremely, absolutely or unbelievably. Hyperbole can be used as a literary device in songs, as in the song “All Shook Up” by Elvis Presley (1957).

The song’s title refers to being “all shook up” from falling in love with someone. The singer goes on to exaggerate the effects of love by saying that he’s lost his appetite and has trouble sleeping because of the woman he loves.

He also says that he’s willing to do anything for her. Elvis Presley sings: “I’m so mixed up, I don’t know what to do. My heart is walking around outside my body.” Presley’s use of hyperbole in this song reflects how strongly he feels about the woman he loves.

Another example of hyperbole in songs can be found in the Beatles’ 1964 hit “A Hard Day’s Night.” The Beatles sing about how they’re constantly surrounded by screaming girls and how they never get any sleep because they’re always on tour.

Examples Of Hyperbole In Advertising

Hyperbole, or extreme exaggeration, is a very common form of advertising and can be used in many different ways. The main purpose of hyperbole is to get a point across that might not be able to be conveyed otherwise.

It can also persuade people to purchase a product or service by making claims that are simply untrue. Hyperbole is effective when it makes the reader think about a product and want to buy it.

A recent example of hyperbole was an ad for a new car that claimed, “Hers is the fastest four door sedan in the world.” The automobile industry has been using hyperbole for years to advertise their products.

One of the most widely used examples of hyperbole in advertising is, “the best there ever was and ever will be.”

This phrase can be found on t-shirts, coffee mugs, posters and almost any other piece of merchandise with the Harley Davidson logo on it. This advertisement has been so successful that people have come to expect these type of phrases from every advertisement they see.

A more modern example of hyperbole in advertising includes the use of superlatives such as “biggest” or “best.” These types of claims are especially popular during Super Bowl commercials because they create an image in consumers’ minds.