What is hyperbole

Likely, you are already familiar with the various English figures of speech. Do you have any idea related to what is hyperbole? Do not worry if you have heard it for the first time. Keep reading with us to know more about this.

To put it mildly, the greatest figure of speech ever is hyperbole! It enables authors to emphasize points more strongly by amplification and exaggeration. It transforms a loud clang into "a deafening racket that shook the whole house" and a delicious meal into "the greatest thing you've ever eaten."

This blog will explain what is hyperbole, how to use it, and what it means. To get a clear understanding of the same, you can also read and go through examples.

The Meaning and Definition of Hyperbole

A rhetorical device called hyperbole is primarily employed to make something sound and look much better than it actually is. Put differently, it could be considered an instance of exaggeration.

The Oxford Learner's Dictionary characterises hyperbole as an expression that exaggerates something's true nature, making it seem more thrilling, dangerous, etc. A hyperbole, according to the Collins Dictionary, is a phrase used to "say or write things that make something sound much more impressive than it actually is."

"Hi-PUR-bow-lee" is how the word hyperbole is pronounced. Originating from the Greek word hyperballein, a compound of the verb ballein (meaning "to throw") and the suffix hyper for "beyond," it entered the English language from the Latin hyperbola. We refer to this as "hyperbolic" in English.

Use of Hyperbole

Depending on the media in which they occur, hyperboles can have a variety of purposes. By using them, poets and writers can provide their audience with a more emotionally charged or captivating experience. This figure of speech is an adaptable tool that can add nuance and complexity to a variety of written expressions, whether it is used to highlight a point, create a vivid picture, or add levels of meaning. The common use of hyperbole is generally in poetry and literature.


  • Hyperbole is a device that can be used to emphasise a character's salient characteristics or to make them stand out more.
  • Hyperbolic language can be used to emphasise feelings or circumstances so that the reader can relate to them more deeply or relate to them more.
  • Hyperboles can be used for funny effects. Telling a story that something is grossly exaggerated can make it funnier and lighter in tone.
  • Hyperbole can also be used to draw attention to the ridiculousness or extremeness of societal norms, customs, or problems. This over-the-top depiction might draw attention to the problem and elicit discussion, leading individuals to wonder why a particular social norm or behaviour is in place in the first place.


  • Poetic hyperbole can enhance a poem's emotional or visual imagery.
  • This type of rhetorical device can emphasise or establish a poem's tone or atmosphere.
  • A hyperbole may occasionally be symbolic, signifying larger ideas or ideas.
  • Poetry can use hyperbole to emphasise a point, just like in literature.

How to use hyperbole in writing?

The primary intent of hyperbole is to emphasise a point. Think about the following queries as you incorporate hyperbole into your writing:

What or who is the scene's most crucial component? 

Since hyperbole draws attention to a particular subject, choose in advance what you want the reader to focus on.

Are some attributes more significant than others? 

Let's say you have determined which character is the most crucial component. Which aspect of them do you wish to highlight? You should emphasise a certain quality with exaggeration if it is the one that better advances the plot at that particular point.

Are there any comparisons that are simple to draw? 

hyperboles ought to be simple to comprehend. You might use simple hyperbolic analogies like "waterfall," "deluge," or "sheet of water" to illustrate how hard it's raining. Hyperboles ought to be clear-cut, dramatic, and concise.

The purpose of hyperboles is not to deceive your audience. It should be evident that the statement is overstated to highlight a particular point. To be clear, Hyperboles do not imply deception, but it also shouldn't be taken at face value. About literally...

Hyperbole Examples 

Looking at a few examples, sentences would make things much simpler and easier to understand. Check out the following literary examples along with a few common expressions from everyday life, and try to analyse them.

Hyperbole Examples from Literature

In his play "Macbeth," William Shakespeare often used hyperbole to convey the depth of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's grief over King Duncan's death. Let's examine a few scenes from the play to see just how masterfully the poetic device is employed.


  • Macbeth: “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather. The multitudinous seas incarnadine, Making the green one red” (Act II, Scene 2)
  • Lady Macbeth: “Here’s the smell of the blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand.” (Act V, Scene 1)
  • Malcolm: “This tyrant, whose sole name blisters our tongues,

Examples of Hyperbole from Movies

Let's examine a few hyperbole examples employed in some of the most well-known motion pictures.

  • When Agnes, the young child in "Despicable Me," first saw the fluffy unicorn, she exclaimed, "It's so fluffy I'm gonna die!"
  • From "Gone with the Wind," "As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again."
  • "To infinity and beyond!" is a line from the Toy Story film.
  • The line "You sit on a throne of lies" is from the film "Elf."
  • "We're going to commit the century's biggest true crime. We intend to pilfer the moon! From the motion picture "Despicable Me"

Some Common Day-to-Day Hyperbole Examples 

Speaking of Hyperbole becoming part of our daily life, we will give some common day-to-day examples. These are however a few very general instances one frequently hears in day-to-day conversations with other humans.

  • She plucked some tricks going upside down and caught the landing effortlessly.
  • Scream even if I must, I will eat every scrap of this because I'm so hungry. Let me gut it if you ask me.
  • My sibling acted like he had something important to do, but all he did was sit around doing nothing.
  • Amrita's week started with a huge pile of students’ papers that must be assessed by Friday.
  • Rory repeated every detail about her place of residence as if she was repeating her own name.

Effect of Hyperbole on Reader 

Hyperbole, a rhetorical device that writers frequently use in their literature, amplifies the reader's emotions and creates an everlasting impression on him/her. While exaggeration is the most dominant, other elements also affect the way speeches are delivered. The image of an enthusiastic reader whose feelings touch at the point of hyperbole because of the implication that he or she is the hero or heroine of the story may come up in their mind. Writers can become more effective craftsmen and strengthen the quality of their writing if they use it as a means to design more captivating and memorable stories.

The objective of hyperbole in a literary work is to influence a reader's emotional responses most profoundly. The reader is led to suddenly jump up and pay the closest attention as if they have just escaped from a thunderstorm. The reader will get a variety of feelings by seeing this kind of overstatement which may be walked off from this stuff by the reader on both sides of the spectrum from extreme shock or amusement.

This is not the only way hyperbole is used, but it is also quite important in storytelling. He who has seen once the magic of the movies knows that its power can transmute the common to the uncommon, the simple to the unusual. In a story, the use of hyperbole makes the image more colourful and descriptive, thus amplifying the level of detail the reader pays attention to, making it hard to forget the image.

Among other effects, this kind of statement will make you impatient and even mad the next time you get across to a poetic or literary work that contains such a hyperbolic statement. It's not just what is on the landscape or architecture; it is the feelings and insights your writing implies. In other terms, it is a power of exaggeration.

Final words 

In conclusion, hyperbole is not just a rhetorical tool -- it makes language more lively and expressive. It serves as proof that language is robust and resilient and that it is instrumental in our expression of the inexpressible and our full comprehension of the human experience which may be of various widens and deepens. 

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