Skip to content

Hyperbole: Word Wednesday (Improve Your Word Power)

Hyperbole is a word that is in the top 1% of “look-ups” according to Merriam-Webster.

That comes as no surprise to me as it is a word often heard but many don’t know its meaning. I find the “Did You Know” part of the M-W entry interesting.

noun hy·per·bo·le \hī-ˈpər-bə-(ˌ)lē\
Popularity: Top 1% of lookups


: extravagant exaggeration (as “mile-high ice-cream cones”)
hyperbolistplay \hī-ˈpər-bə-list\ noun

Examples in a sentence

Four decades later we’re all blabbermouths, adrift on a sea of hyperbole, shouting to be heard. —Steve Rushin, Sports Illustrated, 1 Apr. 2002
… balanced on the razor edge of anachronism, creating a rich stew of accepted and invented history, anecdote, myth and hyperbole. —T. Coraghessan Boyle, New York Times Book Review, 18 May 1997
Even if we discount the hyperbole evident in such accounts, they were far from inventions. —Lawrence W. Levine, The Unpredictable Past, 1993
<“enough food to feed a whole army” is a common example of hyperbole>

Did You Know?

In the 5th century B.C. there was a rabble-rousing Athenian, a politician named Hyperbolus, who often made exaggerated promises and claims that whipped people into a frenzy. But even though it sounds appropriate, Hyperbolus’ name did not play a role in the development of the modern English word hyperbole. That noun does come to us from Greek (by way of Latin), but from the Greek verb hyperballein, meaning “to exceed,” not from the name of the Athenian demagogue.

Origin and Etymology of hyperbole

Latin, from Greek hyperbolē excess, hyperbole, hyperbola, from hyperballein to exceed, from hyper- + ballein to throw 

First Known Use: 15th century

There you have it. Hyperbole is used every day without folks knowing it. It’s part of story telling! 🙂

If you are starting out as a writer then I thoroughly recommend checking out ProWritingAid. It is a spell-checker, ‘grammarist’ and editor all rolled into one bundle.

It saved me a fortune. I used it to self-edit my last book so it was ready to be professionally edited. Indeed, if funds are limited it can cut out the need for a professional editor.

It’s useful too even if you don’t plan to write a book.

Disclosure: this post/page contains ethical affiliate links. I promote certain products and services that I have 100% confidence in. If you purchase as a result of clicking on my affiliate links, I receive a small commission. That commission is not added to the price you pay at checkout.



Follow Me On Social Media
Published inWord Wednesday

Be First to Comment

I would love to hear from you

©2021 - 2022 Stephen Bentley - and Hendry Publishing Ltd Registered in England and Wales: Company Number 13486229 Registered Office: 20-22 Wenlock Road London N1 7GU All Rights Reserved