Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “hyperbole”


noun [U]     /haɪˈpɜː.bəl.i/ US  /-ˈpɝː-/ formal
a way of speaking or writing that makes someone or something sound bigger, better, more, etc. than they are: The blurb on the back of the book was full of the usual hyperbole - 'enthralling', 'fascinating' ,and so on.Exaggerating and playing downPraising and applauding Grammar:HyperboleWe use hyperbole /haɪˈpɜ:bəlɪ/ to exaggerate. We sometimes do this to emphasise something, to add humour or to gain attention. When we use hyperbole, we often make statements which are obviously untrue:See more hyperbolic     /ˌhaɪ.pəˈbɒl.ɪk/ US  /-pɚˈbɑː.lɪk/ adjective hyperbolic rhetoricExaggerating and playing downPraising and applauding
(Definition of hyperbole noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of hyperbole

Definitions of “hyperbole” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


showing a wish to help or bring advantages to others, even if it results in disadvantage for yourself

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More