Hyperbole (ˈ//; Ancient Greek: ὑπερβολή, huperbolḗ, from ὑπέρ (hupér, “above”) and βάλλω (bállō, "I throw")) is the use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device or figure of speech. In rhetoric, it is also sometimes known as auxesis (lit. "growth"). In poetry and oratory, it emphasizes, evokes strong feelings, and creates strong impressions. As a figure of speech, it is usually not meant to be taken literally.
Hyperbole may also be used for instances of such exaggerations for emphasis or effect. Hyperboles are often used in casual speech as intensifiers, such as saying "the bag weighed a ton". Hyperbole makes the point that the speaker found the bag to be extremely heavy, although it was nothing like a literal ton. Understanding hyperboles and their use in context can further one's ability to understand the messages being sent from the speaker. The use of hyperboles generally relays feelings or emotions from the speaker, or from those who the speaker may talk about. Hyperbole can be used in a form of humour, excitement, distress, and many other emotions, all depending on the context in which the speaker uses it.
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- Examples of hyperbole in poetry
- Definition and Examples of Hyperbole
- Ritter, Joshua. "Recovering Hyperbole: Re-Imagining the Limits of Rhetoric for an age of Excess". scholarworks.gsu.edu. Georgia State University.
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