A hyperbole is a figure of speech which uses exaggeration for emphasis and an extra effect. Go through the hyperbole examples to know the kind of rhetorical device that it is.
Hyperbole is one of the most widely used figures of speech in everyday language, in literature or even in love poems. It is an effective communication tool that is used to catch the attention, to emphasize a contrast or even to deceive of idea of the readers. The heavily comparable ideas wake the listener up and make ideas easy to remember. It is derived from the Greek word 'huperbole', where 'above' (huper) and 'throw' (bole). A hyperbolic statement is an extravagant statement used for laying extra-stress. It adds a dramatic effect to the situation that is used to evoke strong emotions. An impression is created with such terms/phrases, although the meaning is not literal as hyperboles do not focus on the 'actual' truth. These figures of speech are often confused with similes and metaphors because of the comparison of two objects, the only difference being hyperboles have unrealistic comparisons. They are important in the genre of non-fiction and are not recommended in formal write-ups. To get a gist of what hyperboles really are, given below are some interesting examples.
Examples Of Hyperbole
- Her brain is the size of a pea.
- You snore louder than a freight train.
- That joke is so old, the last time I heard it I was riding on a dinosaur.
- I will die if she asks me to sing in front of everyone.
- He is as big as a grown elephant!
- His smile was a mile wide.
- Her eyes were as wide as saucers.
- His teeth were blinding white.
- My car is a million years old.
- I don't have two cents to spare.
- The mountain of paperwork weighed heavily on the teacher's desk.
- The ancient castle was so big that it took a week to walk from one end to the other.
- The leaves danced in the summer breeze.
- My sister uses so much makeup; she broke a chisel trying to get it off last night!
- My teacher is so old; she gets a seniors discount at the nursing home.
- My dog is so ugly, he only has cat friends!
- The town I grew up in is so isolated; rock, paper, scissors is considered a high tech game.
- My aunt is so fat that when she walks by the TV, I miss three shows.
- She nearly drowned in her tears.
- The gaping hole would have swallowed America.
- I lost my sense of humor in 127 B.C, to be precise.
- Her beauty eclipsed the sun.
Hyperbole Examples From Poems
- "By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world."
By Ralph Waldo Emerson from "The Concord Hymn"
- "I'll love you, dear, I'll love you
Till China and Africa meet,
And the river jumps over the mountain
And the salmon sing in the street,
I'll love you till the ocean
Is folded and hung up to dry
And the seven stars go squawking
Like geese about the sky."
By W.H. Auden on Endless Love "As I Walked Out One Evening," 1935
Hyperbole Examples In Prose
- "A day was twenty-four hours long but seemed longer. There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy and no money to buy it with, nothing to see outside the boundaries of Maycomb County."
From 'To Kill A Mockingbird' by Harper Lee
- "I had to wait in the station for ten days-an eternity."
From 'Heart of Darkness' by Joseph Conrad
- "He cried all night, and dawn found him still there, though his tears had dried and only hard, dry sobs shook his wooden frame. But these were so loud that they could be heard by the faraway hills..."
From 'The Adventures of Pinocchio' by C. Collodi
- Well now, one winter it was so cold that all the geese flew backward and all the fish moved south and even the snow turned blue. Late at night, it got so frigid that all spoken words froze solid afore they could be heard. People had to wait until sunup to find out what folks were talking about the night before.
From the opening of the American folktale 'Babe the Blue Ox'
- At that time Bogota was a remote, lugubrious city where an insomniac rain had been falling since the beginning of the 16th century.
From 'Living To Tell The Tale' by Gabriel Garcia Márquez,
Hyperboles Examples In Drama
- "What hands are here? ha! They pluck out mine eyes.
Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas in incarnadine,
Making the green one red."
From 'Macbeth' by William Shakespeare
- "...O brawling love, O loving hate,
anything, of nothing first create!
heavy lightness, serious vanity,
Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms..."
From 'Romeo and Juliet' by William Shakespeare
- "...he is sooner caught than the pestilence and the taker
runs presently mad."
From 'Much Ado About Nothing' by William Shakespeare
Hyperbole Examples From The Bible
- "You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel."
- "The rock poured me out rivers of oil." (He had an abundance of good things).
- "The cities are great, and walled up to heaven." (They were very high).
- "Everyone could sling stones at a hair and not miss." (They were very accurate).
- Behold, the world is gone after him." (The whole world at that time did NOT follow after him, but very large crowds in Israel did).
These are some of the best (hyperbolically speaking!) examples of hyperboles. Try imbibing them into your language to have an impact, the very dramatic way!