adynaton

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adynaton

a kind of hyperbole in which the exaggeration is so great that it refers to an impossibility, as in the following lines from Andrew Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress":Had we but world enough, and timeThis coyness, lady, were no crime.We would sit down, and think which way To walk, and pass our long love's day.Thou by the Indian Ganges' sideShouldst rubies find; I by the tideOf Humber would complain. I wouldLove you ten years before the floodAnd you should, if you please, refuseTill the conversion of the Jews

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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