• IPA: /haɪˈpɝːbəli/


  1. (uncountable, rhetoric, literature) Deliberate or unintentional overstatement, particularly extreme overstatement.
    • [1835, L[arret] Langley, A Manual of the Figures of Rhetoric, […], Doncaster: Printed by C. White, Baxter-Gate, OCLC 1062248511 ↗, page 12 ↗:
      Hyperbole soars too high, or creeps too low,
      Exceeds the truth, things wonderful to shew.]
    • 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, J[ames] Fenimore Cooper, chapter VIII, in The Deerslayer: A Tale. [...] In Three Volumes, volume III, 1st British edition, London: Richard Bentley, […], OCLC 3787056 ↗, page 248 ↗:
      "Nay, nay, good Sumach," interrupted the Deerslayer, whose love of truth was too indomitable to listen to such hyperbole, with patienceand when he ſpeakes,
      'Tis like a Chime a mending. With tearmes vnſquar'
      Which from the tongue of roaring Typhon dropt,
      Would ſeemes 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?
  2. (countable, obsolete) A hyperbola.
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