What is a Hyperbole? Definition and Examples

30 April 2023 / Team Fun English Course

Using hyperbole in writing or speech is a technique that greatly affects your readers or audience. But what is a hyperbole? Let’s take a closer look at the hyperbole definition and examples below.  

Hyperbole Definition

Hyperbole Definition

Hyperbole is a way for authors or speakers to purposely and obviously exaggerate things that they describe to an extreme. How to pronounce hyperbole is by saying ‘hygh-purr-bo-lee’. Hyperbole figures of speech are usually used to emphasize or to make a description more humorous and creative. 

The word hyperbole comes from the Greek word ‘huperbole’, which means ‘to throw above’. Hyperbole is common to use as a literary device and in our everyday storytelling and speech. 

How to Use Hyperbole

How to Use Hyperbole

It is important to note that using a hyperbolic figure of speech can be misleading. Therefore, you need to know how to use hyperbole effectively. 

You will know that your hyperbole is effective when the audience understands clearly that you are using one. In other words, the intended effect of using hyperbole is not to deceive the reader. It is to emphasize the impact of something by using exaggerated expressions.

To have a clear idea of how to use hyperbole, try to follow these tips:

  • Using Hyperbole in Writing

Using hyperbole in your writing can help you to elevate the descriptions and phrases. To make a hyperbolic expression in writing, try to decide on an image or character that can help you use hyperbole.

And then try to figure out what elements of it that you find most important or informative. Make a list of comparisons. After that, decide which of them best complements the image or character you are trying to describe. All in all, try to use hyperbole naturally that can fit into the flow of your writing. 

  • Hyperbole Examples in Literature

We can find hyperbole examples throughout many works of literature. Here are some of them:

– Shakespeare’s sonnets. It is often to find hyperbole in Shakespeare’s pieces of literature. In his sonnets, Shakespeare uses hyperbole to compare his unseen lovers to nature. For example, he implies that his lovers shine brighter than the sun. He also describes that they are more beautiful than a rose. 

– We can find hyperbole in many poems. For example, American poet W.H. Auden writes a line saying he will love someone till China and Africa in his poem entitled As I Walked Out One Evening. From the line, we know that it is impossible for China and Africa to meet. But, it implies that the author’s love is forever for her. 

Hyperbole Examples in Pop Culture

Hyperbole Examples

This figure of speech is not only useful for classic literature. In fact, hyperbole is also common in popular culture. 

For example, we can see hyperbole in one of Apple’s advertisements. It says, “The new Phone is ‘bigger than bigger’. Certainly, it is impossible for a phone to be ‘bigger than bigger’. But that works to imply the new phone is bigger than before. 

We can’t ignore the fact that hyperbole is filling our daily life through conversation, movies, advertisements, music, and so on. As a figure of speech, it helps our world sound more stimulating and colorful. Moreover, using hyperbole functions well when expressing how strongly we feel about something. 

Other than hyperbole, there are many techniques and literary devices that you can use to enhance your writing quality. To learn and practice writing more effectively, try to take a course.

Learn more not only about what is a hyperbole, but any English skills you need at Fun English Course. We provide many programs that you can choose from. Also, experienced professionals will help you to learn English. For more information, click here!

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