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Hyperbole

pronounced: hy-PER-buh-lee

Give me a thousand kisses, then a hundred,
Then another thousand, then a second hundred,
Then still another thousand, then a hundred

Catullus

Hyperbole is a figure of speech that uses an exaggerated or extravagant statement to create a strong emotional response. As a figure of speech it is not intended to be taken literally. Hyperbole is frequently used for humour. Examples of hyperbole are:

  • They ran like greased lightning.

  • He's got tons of money.

  • Her brain is the size of a pea.

  • He is older than the hills.

  • I will die if she asks me to dance.

  • She is as big as an elephant!

  • I'm so hungry I could eat a horse.

  • I have told you a million times not to lie!

The media and the advertising industry often use hyperbole (which may then be described as hype or media hype).

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