"obvious exaggeration in rhetoric," early 15c., from Latin hyperbole, from Greek hyperbole "exaggeration, extravagance," literally "a throwing beyond," from hyper- "beyond" (see hyper-) + bole "a throwing, a casting, the stroke of a missile, bolt, beam," from bol-, nominative stem of ballein "to throw" (from PIE root *gwele- "to throw, reach"). Rhetorical sense is found in Aristotle and Isocrates. Greek had a verb, hyperballein, "to throw over or beyond."
updated on May 18, 2017
Dictionary entries near hyperbole