What Is a Hyperbole?

Hyperbole is the use of exaggeration for effect. The origin of hyperbole as a word comes from the Greek, where its original definition was “a throwing (or casting) beyond.”
Hyperbole has been widely used in literature since the Renaissance. One of the most famous examples of hyperbole comes from Petrarchan sonnets, which used hyperbole to idealize female beauty.

Today, people use hyperbole frequently in everyday situations, with one of the classic hyperbole examples being to add the word “literally” to strengthen a hyperbolic expression. “I am literally starving to death” is an example of this kind of hyperbole. Hyperbole often takes the form of a simile: “I’m as hungry as a bear.”

Hyperbole Examples

Hyperbole Examples #1) I have millions of papers to grade this weekend.

Hyperbole Examples #2) Her beauty shone as brightly as all the stars in the heavens.

Hyperbole Examples #3) “Above all was my sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad?”

Hyperbole Examples #4) I’m giving it 110 percent effort.

Hyperbole Examples #5) “In brief: all flowers from her their virtue take;/From her sweet breath their sweet smells do proceed;”

What Hyperbole Can do for Your Writing

Hyperbole is a tool found all across literature. It can breed distrust in a narrator that uses excessive hyperbole. Hyperbole can be a means of a grand description that compares eyes to the stars. With hyperbole, a writer can create any number of exaggerated descriptions.

Learn more about incorporating hyperbole into writing and a variety of other tools to add depth to your writing!