AskDefine | Define exaggeration

Dictionary Definition



1 extravagant exaggeration [syn: hyperbole]
2 the act of making something more noticeable than usual; "the dance involved a deliberate exaggeration of his awkwardness"
3 making to seem more important than it really is [syn: overstatement, magnification] [ant: understatement]

User Contributed Dictionary



From Latin exaggeratio



  1. The act of heaping or piling up.
  2. The act of exaggerating; the act of doing or representing in an excessive manner; a going beyond the bounds of truth reason, or justice; a hyperbolical representation; hyperbole; overstatement.
  3. A representation of things beyond natural life, in expression, beauty, power, vigor.


Extensive Definition

Hyperbole ( hye-PER-buh-lee; "HYE-per-bowl" is a mispronunciation) comes from Greek "υπερβολή"=exaggeration and is a figure of speech in which statements are exaggerated. It may be used to evoke strong feelings or to create a strong impression, and is not meant to be taken literally.
Hyperbole is used to create emphasis. It is a literary device often used in poetry, and is frequently encountered in casual speech.
Some examples include: these books weigh a ton. (weigh a great deal) I could sleep for a year. (for a long time)
Antonyms to hyperbole include meiosis, litotes, understatement, and bathos (the 'let down' after a hyperbole in a phrase).
Derived from the Greek (literally 'overshooting' or 'excess'), it is a cognate of hyperbola.
exaggeration in Bulgarian: Хипербола (литература)
exaggeration in Catalan: Hipèrbole
exaggeration in Czech: Hyperbola (literatura)
exaggeration in Welsh: Gormodiaith
exaggeration in German: Hyperbel (Sprache)
exaggeration in Spanish: Hipérbole
exaggeration in Basque: Hiperbole
exaggeration in French: Hyperbole (rhétorique)
exaggeration in Galician: Hipérbole
exaggeration in Croatian: Hiperbola (figura)
exaggeration in Icelandic: Ýkjur
exaggeration in Italian: Iperbole (figura retorica)
exaggeration in Hebrew: הגזמה
exaggeration in Lithuanian: Hiperbolė (menas)
exaggeration in Macedonian: Хипербола (лингвистика)
exaggeration in Dutch: Hyperbool (stijlfiguur)
exaggeration in Norwegian: Hyperbol
exaggeration in Polish: Hiperbola (teoria literatury)
exaggeration in Portuguese: Hipérbole (figura de estilo)
exaggeration in Romanian: Hiperbolă (figură de stil)
exaggeration in Russian: Гипербола (литература)
exaggeration in Simple English: Exaggeration
exaggeration in Slovak: Hyperbola (literatúra)
exaggeration in Finnish: Hype
exaggeration in Swedish: Hyperbol
exaggeration in Turkish: Abartıcılık
exaggeration in Ukrainian: Гіпербола
exaggeration in Chinese: 誇飾

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abandon, abstractionism, accelerando, acceleration, affectation, aggrandizement, aggravation, amplification, beefing-up, blague, blowing up, blowup, boundlessness, cock-and-bull story, coloring, command of language, concentration, condensation, confabulation, consolidation, deepening, deformation, distortion, egregiousness, embellishment, enhancement, enlargement, enormousness, equivocation, exacerbation, excess, excessiveness, exorbitance, exorbitancy, explosion, expression of ideas, expressionism, extravagance, extravagancy, extreme, extremes, extremism, extremity, fabulousness, fairy tale, false coloring, false swearing, falsehood, falsification, falsifying, falsity, farfetched story, farrago, fashion, feeling for words, fib, fiction, fish story, flam, flight of fancy, flimflam, form of speech, garbling, ghost story, giantism, gigantism, gluttony, grace of expression, grandiloquence, half-truth, heating-up, heightening, hyperbole, hypertrophy, immoderacy, immoderateness, immoderation, inaccuracy, incontinence, inflation, information explosion, injustice, inordinacy, inordinance, inordinateness, intemperance, intemperateness, intensification, inundation, legal fiction, lie, literary style, litotes, little white lie, magnification, manner, manner of speaking, mannerism, mendacity, miscoloring, misconstruction, misdrawing, mispainting, misquotation, misreport, misrepresentation, misstatement, misteaching, mode, mode of expression, monstrousness, nimiety, nonrealism, outrageousness, overappraisal, overassessment, overcalculation, overdevelopment, overdrawing, overestimate, overestimation, overflowing, overgreatness, overgrowth, overindulgence, overlargeness, overmuch, overmuchness, overpass, overrating, overreaction, overreckoning, overrun, overrunning, overspreading, overstatement, overvaluation, peculiarity, perjury, personal style, perversion, pickup, pious fiction, population explosion, prevarication, radicalism, redoubling, reinforcement, rhetoric, romance, sense of language, slanting, slight stretching, speedup, step-up, story, strain, straining, strengthening, stretching, style, stylistic analysis, stylistics, superiority, surplus, tale, tall story, tall tale, tall talk, taradiddle, the grand style, the plain style, the sublime, tightening, too much, too-muchness, trick, trumped-up story, twisting, unconscionableness, understatement, undueness, unreasonableness, unrestrainedness, untruth, vein, way, white lie, yarn
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