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early 15c., from Latin hyperbole, from Greek hyperbole "exaggeration, extravagance," related to hyperballein "to throw over or beyond," from hyper- "beyond" + bole "a throwing, a casting, the stroke of a missile, bolt, beam," from bol-, nominative stem of ballein "to throw" (see ballistics). Rhetorical sense is found in Aristotle and Isocrates.
An exaggerated, extravagant expression. It is hyperbole to say, “I'd give my whole fortune for a bowl of bean soup.”
a figure of speech that is an intentional exaggeration for emphasis or comic effect. Hyperbole is common in love poetry, in which it is used to convey the lover's intense admiration for his beloved. An example is the following passage describing Portia:Why, if two gods should play some heavenlymatchAnd on the wager lay two earthly women,And Portia one, there must be something elsePawned with the other, for the poor rudeworldHath not her fellow.(Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice)