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From Latin hyperbolē, from Ancient Greek ὑπερβολή (huperbolḗ, excess, exaggeration), from ὑπέρ (hupér, above) + βάλλω (bállō, I throw). Doublet of hyperbola.


  • IPA(key): /haɪˈpɝːbəli/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Homophones: hyperbolae


hyperbole (countable and uncountable, plural hyperboles)

  1. (uncountable, rhetoric, literature) Deliberate or unintentional overstatement, particularly extreme overstatement.
    • 1837, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Legends of the Province House
      The great staircase, however, may be termed, without much hyperbole, a feature of grandeur and magnificence.
    • 1841, James Fenimore Cooper, The Deerslayer, ch. 28
      "Nay - nay - good Sumach," interrupted Deerslayer, whose love of truth was too indomitable to listen to such hyperbole with patience.
    • c. 1910, Theodore Roosevelt, Productive Scholarship
      Of course the hymn has come to us from somewhere else, but I do not know from where; and the average native of our village firmly believes that it is indigenous to our own soil—which it can not be, unless it deals in hyperbole, for the nearest approach to a river in our neighborhood is the village pond.
    • 1995, Richard Klein, “Introduction”, in Cigarettes are sublime, Paperback edition, Durham: Duke University Press, published 1993, →ISBN, OCLC 613939086, page 17:
      In these circumstances, hyperbole is called for, the rhetorical figure that raises its objects up, excessively, way above their actual merit : it is not to deceive by exaggeration that one overshoots the mark, but to allow the true value, the truth of what is insufficiently valued, to appear.
    • 2001, Tom Bentley, Daniel Stedman Jones, The Moral Universe
      The perennial problem, especially for the BBC, has been to reconcile the hyperbole-driven agenda of newspapers with the requirement of balance, which is crucial to the public service remit.
  2. (countable) An instance or example of such overstatement.
    • 1602, William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida i 3
      ...and when he speaks
      'Tis like a chime a-mending; with terms unsquar'd,
      Which, from the tongue of roaring Typhon dropp'd,
      Would seem hyperboles.
    • 1843, Thomas Babington Macaulay, The Gates of Somnauth
      The honourable gentleman forces us to hear a good deal of this detestable rhetoric; and then he asks why, if the secretaries of the Nizam and the King of Oude use all these tropes and hyperboles, Lord Ellenborough should not indulge in the same sort of eloquence?
  3. (countable, obsolete) A hyperbola.



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From Latin hyperbole, from Ancient Greek ὑπερβολή (huperbolḗ, excess, exaggeration), from ὑπέ (hupé, above) + βάλλω (bállō, I throw).



hyperbole f (plural hyperboles)

  1. (rhetoric) hyperbole
  2. (geometry) hyperbola

Further readingEdit



From Ancient Greek ὑπερβολή (huperbolḗ, excess, exaggeration), from ὑπέ (hupé, above) + βάλλω (bállō, I throw).



hyperbolē f (genitive hyperbolēs); first declension

  1. exaggeration; hyperbole
  2. ablative singular of hyperbolē
  3. vocative singular of hyperbolē


First-declension noun (Greek-type).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative hyperbolē hyperbolae
Genitive hyperbolēs hyperbolārum
Dative hyperbolae hyperbolīs
Accusative hyperbolēn hyperbolās
Ablative hyperbolē hyperbolīs
Vocative hyperbolē hyperbolae