Hyperbole, from a Greek word meaning "excess," is a figure of speech that uses extreme exaggeration to make a point or show emphasis. It is the opposite of understatement.
You can find examples of hyperbole in literature and everyday speech. You wouldn't want to use it in nonfiction works, like reports or research papers, but it's perfect for creative writing and communication, especially when you want to add color to a character or humor to a story.
Hyperboles are not comparisons, like similes and metaphors, but extravagant and even ridiculous overstatements, not meant to be taken literally. In literature, hyperbole will often be used to show contrast or catch the reader's attention. Let's take a closer look.
In these common, everyday examples of hyperbole, you'll see the sentiment isn't realistic, but it helps to stress the point.
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