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Hyperbole   Listen
noun
Hyperbole  n.  (Rhet.) A figure of speech in which the expression is an evident exaggeration of the meaning intended to be conveyed, or by which things are represented as much greater or less, better or worse, than they really are; a statement exaggerated fancifully, through excitement, or for effect. "Our common forms of compliment are almost all of them extravagant hyperboles." "Somebody has said of the boldest figure in rhetoric, the hyperbole, that it lies without deceiving."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Hyperbole" Quotes from Famous Books



... by the recollection that the mere sight of that terrible majesty had struck him to the ground, and had left an ever-during brand of pain and disfigurement on his person. I shall just add, that in Second Corinthians xii. 7, the words, {te hyperbole ton apokalypseon} may with quite as much propriety be construed with {edothe moi skolops te sarki}, as with {hina me huperairomai}; the meaning being thus given,—"and that I might not be exalted, a thorn in the flesh [caused] by the ...
— Spare Hours • John Brown

... That was a question that was to be repeated many times in the next few days. It really seemed as though that frantic hyperbole, "blown to atoms," had for once realised itself. There was not a visible particle of Plattner to be seen; not a drop of blood nor a stitch of clothing to be found. Apparently he had been blown clean ...
— The Country of the Blind, And Other Stories • H. G. Wells

... begins in sensation and ends in sentiment. Thanks to beautiful and permissible hyperbole, you have begun with sensation in your description of love, and have ended with sentiment. You have told me about love, in terms of love, which is a vain performance and unscientific. Now let me make you a definition. Love is a disorder of mind and body, and is produced ...
— The Kempton-Wace Letters • Jack London

... it from Fenellan; and he was among the principal groups, claiming or making acquaintances, as a lawyer should do. The Concert was complimentarily a topic: Durandarte divine!—did not everybody think so? Everybody did, in default of a term for overtopping it. Our language is poor at hyperbole; our voices are stronger. Gestures and heaven-sent eyeballs invoke to display the ineffable. Where was Durandarte now? Gone; already gone; off with the Luciani for evening engagements; he came simply to oblige his dear friend Mr. Radnor. Cheque fifty ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... controversial orators. Saint Athanasius of Alexandria was an admirable man of action, a fiery and impassioned orator, the highly polemical historian of the Church, after the manner of Bossuet in his History of Variations. Saint Basil, termed by his admirers "the Great," without there being much hyperbole in the qualification, was an incomparable orator. He, as it were, reigned over Eastern Christianity, thanks to his word, his skill, and his courage. Even to us his works possess charm. He intermingled the finest ideas of ...
— Initiation into Literature • Emile Faguet

... and indeed surprisingly often, Christ finds a word that transcends all commonplace morality; every now and then He quits the beaten track to pioneer the unexpressed, and throws out a pregnant and magnanimous hyperbole; for it is only by some bold poetry of thought that men can be strung up above the level of everyday conceptions to take a broader look upon experience or accept some higher principle of conduct. To a man who is of the same mind that ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 16 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... from eccentricity, and we grasp it so imperfectly, that we are apt to deny it altogether, and conceive his mind as impersonal. In view of the multiplicity of his creations, and the range of thought, emotion, and character they include, it is a common hyperbole of criticism to designate him as universal. But, in truth, his mind was restricted, in its creative action, like other minds, within the limits of its personal sympathies, though these sympathies in him were keener, quicker, and more general than in other men ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 20, No. 118, August, 1867 • Various

... shall give visible form and life to the abstract ideas of our written constitutions; which shall confer upon virtue all the strength of principle and all the energy of passion; which shall disentangle freedom from cant and senseless hyperbole, and render it a thing of such loveliness and grandeur as to justify all self-sacrifice; which shall make us love man by the new consecrations it sheds on his life and destiny; which shall force through the thin partitions of conventialism and expediency; vindicate the majesty of reason; ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, February 1844 - Volume 23, Number 2 • Various

... being voyages through space it is no hyperbole to compare him to a whole fleet, judiciously shown at such distance as to suppress every minute detail that could diminish the grandeur of ...
— Life of John Milton • Richard Garnett

... children. If the man said there was a horse under him, it was a figure of speech, which we call hyperbole; he only meant to state in a funny way that the ...
— Dotty Dimple Out West • Sophie May

... ist in der Thiere Trieb,' says Wallenstein; 'the very savage drinks not with the victim, into whose breast he means to plunge a sword.' Danton was warned that Robespierre was plotting his arrest. 'If I thought he had the bare idea,' said Danton with something of Gargantuan hyperbole, 'I would eat his bowels out.' Such was the disdain with which the 'giant of the mighty bone and bold emprise' thought of our meagre-hearted pedant. The truth is that in the stormy and distracted times of politics, and perhaps in all times, contempt is a dangerous luxury. A man may ...
— Critical Miscellanies (Vol. 1 of 3) - Essay 1: Robespierre • John Morley

... attention, to employ the idle, to popularise your Highness's rule, and, if it were possible, to enable him to reduce the taxes at a blow and to a notable amount. The proposed expedition - for it cannot without hyperbole be called a war - seemed to the council to combine the various characters required; a marked improvement in the public sentiment has followed even upon our preparations; and I cannot doubt that when success shall follow, the effect will ...
— Prince Otto • Robert Louis Stevenson

... wide open, that men and women may unhindered enter. This essay aims to stand as a porter at the gate. We shall never overestimate Shakespeare, because we can not. Some men and things lie beyond the danger of hyperbole. No exaggeration is possible concerning them, seeing they transcend all dreams. Space can not be conceived by the most luxuriant imagination, holding, as it does, all worlds, and capable of holding another universe besides, ...
— A Hero and Some Other Folks • William A. Quayle

... of the Greek emperor, although he had been warned to beware of it, Louis VII. proceeded, at the head of his army, through Worms and Ratisbon, towards Constantinople. At Ratisbon he was met by a deputation from Manuel, bearing letters so full of hyperbole and flattery, that Louis is reported to have blushed when they were read to him by the Bishop of Langres. The object of the deputation was to obtain from the French king a promise to pass through ...
— Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds • Charles Mackay

... that on the morrow "The Big Wind" would make his maiden address in the House, taking as his subject "two or three important matters in connection with the budget. A rare treat is in store for those who will be able to attend," and all the rest of the hyperbole that the party papers—except yours, dear reader—are wont to indulge in. Of course, the galleries of the House were crowded, and on the floor every member was in his seat. In the press gallery the attendance of managers and editorial writers was as large as that of the men who ...
— William Adolphus Turnpike • William Banks

... the pedagogue sometimes surprises me, with the novelty of his opinions; but they are extravagant. I have condescended, oftener than became me, to shew how full of hyperbole and paradox they were. Still he as constantly maintained them, with a kind of congruity that astonished me, and even rendered many of ...
— Anna St. Ives • Thomas Holcroft

... It was his mission to probe our moral ulcers to the roots and to raise moribund ideals from the dust, breathing his own vitality into them, till they rose before our eyes as living aspirations. The spiritual joy of which he wrote was no rhetorical hyperbole; it was manifest in the man himself, and was the fount of the lofty idealism which made him not only "the Conscience of Russia" but ...
— The Forged Coupon and Other Stories • Leo Tolstoy

... in this catalogue of his mistresses, means nothing more, than, by a lively hyperbole, to inform us, that his heart, unfettered by any one object, was warm with devotion towards the sex in general. Cowley is indebted to this ode for the hint of his ballad, ...
— The Complete Poems of Sir Thomas Moore • Thomas Moore et al

... who has once tasted a higher existence? No; to throw the handle after the hatchet is a comprehensible act of desperation, but to throw one's pocket-knife after an implacable friend is clearly in every sense a hyperbole, or throwing beyond the mark. So Bob shuffled back to the spot where the beloved knife lay in the dirt, and felt quite a new pleasure in clutching it again after the temporary separation, in opening one blade after ...
— The Mill on the Floss • George Eliot

... relieve him with my queen; till he had exhausted all the coin in the purse of his resolution, and expended all the arrows of the quiver of his argument. "Take heed and retreat not from the orator's attack, for nothing is left him but metaphor and hyperbole. Wield thy polemics and law citations, for the wordy rhetorician made a show of arms over his gate, but has not a soldier within his fort":—At length, having no syllogism left, I made him crouch in mental submission. ...
— Persian Literature, Volume 2, Comprising The Shah Nameh, The - Rubaiyat, The Divan, and The Gulistan • Anonymous

... Figures of Speech.—Sometimes, especially in older rhetorics, the following so-called figures of speech are added to the list already given: irony, hyperbole, antithesis, climax, and interrogation. The two former pertain rather to style, in fact, are qualities of style, while the last two might properly be placed along with kinds of sentences or paragraph ...
— Composition-Rhetoric • Stratton D. Brooks

... of vivid hyperbole being exhausted, Mrs. Lester and I expressed ourselves simply to the same effect. We turned, heedful no longer of the tides, and travelled delightfully along the Artichoke road until we reached a brown dwelling that I knew could be none other than theirs—Uncle Coffin's and Aunt ...
— Vesty of the Basins • Sarah P. McLean Greene

... little idol, and make himself a subject, though not of the mouth (as beasts are), yet of the eye; which was given him for higher purposes. It is a strange thing, to note the excess of this passion, and how it braves the nature, and value of things, by this; that the speaking in a perpetual hyperbole, is comely in nothing but in love. Neither is it merely in the phrase; for whereas it hath been well said, that the arch-flatterer, with whom all the petty flatterers have intelligence, is a man's self; certainly the lover is more. For there was never proud man thought so absurdly well ...
— Essays - The Essays Or Counsels, Civil And Moral, Of Francis Ld. - Verulam Viscount St. Albans • Francis Bacon

... Sir Richard Blackmore's poetry, such as we should more easily attribute to Pope, or at least to his suggestions. It resembles "The Dunciad" in containing more bitterness than humour. Examples are given of the "Pert style," the "Alamode" style, the "Finical style." The exceptions taken to such hyperbole as the following, seem to be the ...
— History of English Humour, Vol. 2 (of 2) • Alfred Guy Kingan L'Estrange

... things being its "chief" delights—and then the pre-eminent beauty and naturalness of the concluding lines, whose very hyperbole only renders them more true to nature when we consider the innocence, the artlessness, the enthusiasm, the passionate girl, and more passionate admiration of ...
— Edgar Allan Poe's Complete Poetical Works • Edgar Allan Poe

... union—surely, a very, very slipshod off-hand method of disposing of such a nice sharp quillet of the Law!... He is talking to them about my means, and has thrown out a rather apt suggestion that I may have been led by sheer vaingloriousness and Oriental love of hyperbole into exaggerating my resources.... However, he "sees no reason to doubt my competence to pay a reasonable amount of damages"—an opinion with which I am not so pleased. "If the jury think me a gay sort of Hindoo deceiver, ...
— Baboo Jabberjee, B.A. • F. Anstey

... numbers or magnificence; a heap of monstrous stories, only more conspicuous by their incredibility. He is unpardonable, therefore, who cannot distinguish one from the other; but lays on history the paint of poetry, its flattery, fable, and hyperbole: it is just as ridiculous as it would be to clothe one of our robust wrestlers, who is as hard as an oak, in fine purple, or some such meretricious garb, and put paint {26} on his cheeks; how would such ornaments ...
— Trips to the Moon • Lucian

... and disinterested they were, the more it has tended to take the place of Hebraism. But the Platonists, too, when left to their instincts, follow their master in attributing power and existence, by a sort of cumulative worship and imaginative hyperbole, to what in the first place they worship because it is good. To divorce, then, as the modernists do, the history of the world from the story of salvation, and God's government and the sanctions of religion from the operation of matter, is a fundamental ...
— Winds Of Doctrine - Studies in Contemporary Opinion • George Santayana

... naked and half starving through the whole inclement winter, and perished of pestilence in droves, after confronting the less formidable dangers of battlefield and leaguer. Manfully and sympathetically did the Earl of Leicester—while whining in absurd hyperbole over the angry demeanour of his sovereign towards himself-represent the imperative duty of an English government to succour ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... justice and suitableness of the discourse on laws;' over-emphasis; 'best of Greeks,' said of all the Greeks, and the like: fifthly, poor and insipid illustrations are also common: sixthly, we may observe an excessive use of climax and hyperbole, aischron legein chre pros autous doulon te kai doulen kai paida kai ei pos oion te olen ten oikian: dokei touto to epitedeuma kata phusin tas peri ta aphrodisia edonas ou monon anthropon alla kai ...
— Laws • Plato

... have I now from ridicule, or perhaps disgrace! Mr Delvile has been detected watching me in disguise! he has been discovered at this late hour meeting me in private! The story will reach his family with all the hyperbole of exaggeration;—how will his noble mother disdain me! how cruelly shall I sink before the severity of ...
— Cecilia vol. 2 - Memoirs of an Heiress • Frances (Fanny) Burney (Madame d'Arblay)

... urged his defence, "that I have expended too much, charge the sums to my account, not yours—but on this condition, let the edifices be inscribed with my name, not that of the Athenian people." This mode of defence, though perhaps but an oratorical hyperbole [262], conveyed a rebuke which the Athenians were an audience calculated to answer but in one way—they dismissed the accusation, and ...
— Athens: Its Rise and Fall, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... represent, by their slender conceits and laboured particularities, the prospects of nature or the scenes of life, than he who dissects a sunbeam with a prism can exhibit the wide effulgence of a summer noon. What they wanted, however, of the sublime, they endeavoured to supply by hyperbole; their amplification had no limits; they left not only reason but fancy behind them; and produced combinations of confused magnificence that not only could not be credited, but could ...
— English literary criticism • Various

... returned Elmer nonchalantly. He was a thin, anaemic-looking young fellow a couple of years younger than Virginia who affected a swagger and gloves and who had a cough which was insistent, but which he strove to disguise. And yet Florrie's hyperbole had not been entirely without warrant. He had something of Virginia's fine profile, a look of her in his eyes, the stamp of good blood upon him. He suffered his sister to kiss him, meantime turning ...
— The Bells of San Juan • Jackson Gregory

... the diploma of Doctor of Laws, which was sent to Johnson in the same year (1775), at the recommendation of Lord North, at that time Chancellor of the University, and Prime Minister, was in some measure intended to be the reward of his obsequiousness. In this instrument, he is called, with an hyperbole of praise which the University would perhaps now he more cautious of applying to any individual, "In Literarum Republica Princeps ...
— Lives of the English Poets - From Johnson to Kirke White, Designed as a Continuation of - Johnson's Lives • Henry Francis Cary

... so freely in obvious hyperbole, and has made so very evident the bitter personal animosities which inspire many of his statements, that it has been a genuine surprise to his former associates and acquaintances that his ...
— The Philippines: Past and Present (vol. 1 of 2) • Dean C. Worcester

... understood hitherto to mean only that God teaches men through the Word and has been explained as an hyperbole, with the implication that the Lord is not the Word itself. This is because expositors did not know that the Word is divine truth together with divine good or, what is the same, divine wisdom together with divine love. That these are the Lord Himself was shown ...
— Angelic Wisdom about Divine Providence • Emanuel Swedenborg

... Testament. Deeming miracles impossible, he did not regard them as fraud, but admitted on the contrary that the agents or narrators honestly believed them. The supernatural was not imparted to deceive, but was the result of oriental modes of speech, such as hyperbole, parable, or ellipsis, in which the steps by which the process was performed were omitted. The smoke of Sinai was considered a thunderstorm; the shining of Moses's face ...
— History of Free Thought in Reference to The Christian Religion • Adam Storey Farrar

... consider what the adverse forces were, their sustained resistance, their frequent recovery, the critical moments when the struggle seemed for ever desperate, in 1685, in 1772, in 1808, it is no hyperbole to say that the progress of the world towards self-government would have been arrested but for the strength afforded by the religious motive in the seventeenth century. And this constancy of progress, of progress in the direction ...
— A Lecture on the Study of History • Lord Acton

... army was considered as being still more masterly and eloquent, and it was certainly well suited to the taste of French soldiers, who, as Bourrienne remarks, are wonderfully pleased with grandiloquence, metaphor, and hyperbole, though they do not always understand what they mean. Even a French author of some distinction praises this address as something sublime. "The proclamation to the army," says he, "is full of energy: it could not fail to make all military imaginations vibrate. ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

... proportions, more statuesque, and more deliberately and advisedly to be characterised by no adequate word but the word magnificent (a word too often and lightly abused). In reality, speaking of women, I have seen many beautiful figures, but hardly one except Agnes that could without hyperbole be styled truly and memorably magnificent. Though in the first order of tall women, yet, being full in person, and with a symmetry that was absolutely faultless, she seemed to the random sight as little above the ordinary height. Possibly from the dignity ...
— The Uncollected Writings of Thomas de Quincey, Vol. 2 - With a Preface and Annotations by James Hogg • Thomas de Quincey

... "Unless you carry your brains next to the ground in your heels."[1] Hence it is necessary to know where to draw the line; for if ever it is overstepped the effect of the hyperbole is spoilt, being in such cases relaxed by overstraining, and producing the very opposite to the ...
— On the Sublime • Longinus

... so as to address them more imposingly]. I really cannot tell you what I feel about Home Rule without using the language of hyperbole. ...
— John Bull's Other Island • George Bernard Shaw

... as high a style of fashion, that is of effrontery, as even the fools by whom they are aped, or the lawyers and statesmen themselves by whom they are defended. This I own is a bold assertion; and is perhaps a hyperbole! Yes, yes: it is comparing mole hills to mountains. ...
— The Adventures of Hugh Trevor • Thomas Holcroft

... address:—"GENTLEMEN, You are met here on the greatest occasion that, I believe, England ever saw; having upon your shoulders the interests of three great nations, with the territories belonging to them: and truly I believe I may say it without any hyperbole, you have upon your shoulders the interest of all the Christian people in the world. And the expectation is, that I should let you know, as far as I have cognisance of it, the occasion of your assembling together at ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 61, No. 378, April, 1847 • Various

... word-perplexity, Or a fit expression find, Or a language to my mind (Still the phrase is wide or scant), To take leave of thee, Great Plant! Or in any terms relate Half my love, or half my hate: For I hate yet love thee so, That, whichever thing I show, The plain truth will seem to be A constrained hyperbole, And the passions to proceed More from a ...
— English Satires • Various

... than this great Author, would have found it very difficult to have filled [these [7]] tender Parts of the Poem with Sentiments proper for a State of Innocence; to have described the Warmth of Love, and the Professions of it, without Artifice or Hyperbole: to have made the Man speak the most endearing things, without descending from his natural Dignity, and the Woman receiving them without departing from the Modesty of her Character; in a Word, to adjust the Prerogatives ...
— The Spectator, Volume 2. • Addison and Steele

... HYPERBOLE. The magnifying of things beyond their natural limits is called hyperbole. Language that signifies, literally, more than the exact truth, more than is really intended to be represented, by which a thing is represented greater or less, better or worse than it really is, is said to be hyperbolical. ...
— The Verbalist • Thomas Embly Osmun, (AKA Alfred Ayres)

... neterit 'an arm neteri,' ... is it certain that 'a strong city,' 'a strong arm,' give us the primitive sense of neter? When among ourselves one says 'divine music,' 'a piece of divine poetry,' 'the divine taste of a peach,' 'the divine beauty of a woman,' [the word] divine is a hyperbole, but it would be a mistake to declare that it originally meant 'exquisite' because in the phrases which I have imagined one could apply it as 'exquisite music,' 'a piece of exquisite poetry,' 'the exquisite taste of a peach,' 'the exquisite beauty of a woman.' Similarly, in Egyptian, 'a town neterit ...
— Egyptian Ideas of the Future Life • E. A. Wallis Budge

... of human misery!' She told the young bride (by way of a compliment) that she would not have got up in the middle of the night to be present at the marriage of any other friend on earth. This phrase might seem to most people only a pleasant hyperbole; but I am not quite sure that it was so intended. The fact is, she has seen so little of the world at any other hours than between noon and midnight, that she has a very obscure sense of other periods of daily time. ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 450 - Volume 18, New Series, August 14, 1852 • Various

... perfect gentleman," applying each sentence to his Right Honourable friend with an emphasis that seemed to burst from his heart. To all of the audience, save two, it was an eulogium which the fervent sincerity of the eulogist alone saved from hyperbole. But Levy rubbed his hands, and chuckled inly; and Egerton hung his head, and moved restlessly on his seat. Every word that Harley uttered lodged an arrow in Audley's breast. Amidst the cheers that followed this ...
— My Novel, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... p mnsklighetens bner. A striking hyperbole. Only Fritiof and Ingeborg and the assembly ...
— Fritiofs Saga • Esaias Tegner

... the intrenchments which had been formed on the ridge of the opposite bank, were lined with a numerous army of heavy cuirassiers, dexterous archers, and huge elephants; who (according to the extravagant hyperbole of Libanius) could trample with the same ease a field of corn, or a legion of Romans. In the presence of such an enemy, the construction of a bridge was impracticable; and the intrepid prince, who instantly seized the only possible expedient, concealed ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 2 • Edward Gibbon

... advantage!" exclaimed Lady Tansi; "one might take Richard for the sun, come down from Heaven, to walk the streets in that garb." Every one laughed at the little girl's remark, and at Lady Tansi's hyperbole; and there lacked not back-biters, who thought his appearing in arms at the palace was an act of great impropriety; but others excused him, saying that it was a very natural and pardonable act of vanity on the part of a gallant ...
— The Exemplary Novels of Cervantes • Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

... said Toombs on one occasion. "If she does not, I will pay them for her!" This piece of hyperbole was softened by the fact that on two occasions, when the State needed money to supply deficits, Toombs with other Georgians did come forward and lift the pressure. Sometimes he talked in a random way, but responsibility always sobered him. ...
— Robert Toombs - Statesman, Speaker, Soldier, Sage • Pleasant A. Stovall

... his museum, and does not care to draw any explicit moral. The quaintness of the objects unearthed seems to be a sufficient recompense for the labour of the search. Fortunately for his design, he lived in the time when a poet might have spoken without hyperbole of the 'fairy tales of science.' To us, who have to plod through an arid waste of painful observation, and slow piecing together of cautious inferences before reaching the promised land of wondrous discoveries, the expression sometimes appears to be ironical. Does ...
— Hours in a Library, Volume I. (of III.) • Leslie Stephen

... fair nymphs to forego The hyperbole dear to our heart, And the slang without which speech is "slow," Is to make us a "people apart." Oh, to say (without fines) "quite too-too!" For dear "awfully jolly" I yearn. I would "chuck" all my friends, sweet—save you— To the pathways of ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 99., October 11, 1890 • Various

... Komayt's saying. It is an emblem of swiftness: when the brigand poet Shanfara boasts, "The ash-coloured Katas can drink only my leavings, after hastening all night to slake their thirst in the morning," it is a hyperbole boasting of his speed. In Sind it is called the "rock pigeon" and it is not unlike a grey partridge ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 4 • Richard F. Burton

... inference is correct. By another form of expression, similar in character to the "seven times in a day," he intimates that faith possesses an unlimited power of production in the department of doing. To intensify the result he employs a double hyperbole, as engineers employ two pairs of wheels to generate extreme rapidity of motion; the smallest spark of faith will overcome the greatest obstacles that may lie across a Christian's path. Again, the same idea which appeared before in Matt. xvii. 20, is expressed ...
— The Parables of Our Lord • William Arnot

... it lurketh under an odd similitude; sometimes it is lodged in a sly question, in a smart answer, in a quirkish reason, in a shrewd intimation, in cunningly diverting, or cleverly retorting an objection: sometimes it is couched in a bold scheme of speech, in a tart irony, in a lusty hyperbole, in a startling metaphor, in a plausible reconciling of contradictions, or in acute nonsense: sometimes a scenical representation of persons or things, a counterfeit speech, a mimical look or gesture passeth for it: sometimes ...
— Sermons on Evil-Speaking • Isaac Barrow

... circumstances; their number should be legion! That a fool may occasionally write interesting matter we know; but that a man should write a literary classic, graced by arrangement, selection, expression, is not even paradox but hyperbole run mad. The truth is, Macaulay had no eye for such a complex character as Boswell. Too correct himself, too prone to the cardinal virtues and consistency, to follow one who, by instinct, seemed to anticipate Wendell Holmes' advice—'Don't be ...
— James Boswell - Famous Scots Series • William Keith Leask

... it serves to lend piquancy and force to style. But this tendency is dangerous, and should be kept under restraint. As a rule it is best to see and describe things as they are. The following from "Julius Caesar" will serve as an example of hyperbole: ...
— Elementary Guide to Literary Criticism • F. V. N. Painter

... ancienne noblesse in literature, one which—to reverse the contrast just made—annihilates Dickens's caricature thereof in A Tale of Two Cities. The single-handed defence of La Tourgue by "L'Imanus" has of course a good deal of the hyperbole which began with Quasimodo's similar act in Notre-Dame; but the reader who cannot "let himself go" with it is to be pitied. Nowhere is Hugo's child-worship more agreeably shown than in the three first chapters of the third volume. And, sinking particulars for a more general view, one may say ...
— A History of the French Novel, Vol. 2 - To the Close of the 19th Century • George Saintsbury

... That witt is past its Climactericall; And though the Muses have beene dead and gone I know they'll finde a Resurrection. Tis vaine to prayse; they're to themselves a glory, And silence is our sweetest Oratory. For he that names but FLETCHER must needs be Found guilty of a loud hyperbole. His fancy so transcendently aspires, He showes himselfe a witt, who but admires. Here are no volumes stuft with cheverle sence, The very Anagrams of Eloquence, Nor long-long-winded sentences that ...
— The Works of Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher in Ten Volumes - Volume I. • Beaumont and Fletcher

... remuneration, nor ever expected it; but I was never honoured with a single acknowledgment, or expression of satisfaction. Yet the retrospect is far from painful or matter of regret. I am not indeed silly enough to take as any thing more than a violent hyperbole of party debate, Mr. Fox's assertion that the late war (I trust that the epithet is not prematurely applied) was a war produced by the Morning Post; or I should be proud to have the words inscribed on my tomb. As little do I regard the circumstance, that I was a specified object ...
— Biographia Literaria • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... than to their hostess. Undine felt only his crudeness, and the tacit criticism passed on it by the mere presence of such men as her husband and Bowen; but Mrs. Fairford' seemed to enjoy provoking him to fresh excesses of slang and hyperbole. Gradually she drew him into talking of the Driscoll campaign, and he became recklessly explicit. He seemed to have nothing to hold back: all the details of the prodigious exploit poured from him with Homeric volume. Then he broke off abruptly, thrusting his hands into his trouser-pockets ...
— The Custom of the Country • Edith Wharton

... unsophisticated orator, Grammar and Logic are necessary to the perfection of Rhetoric. Not that Rhetoric is in bondage to those other sciences; for foreign idioms and such figures as the ellipsis, the anacoluthon, the oxymoron, the hyperbole, and violent inversions have their place in the magnificent style; but authors unacquainted with Grammar and Logic are not likely to place such figures well and wisely. Indeed, common idioms, though both grammatically and rhetorically justifiable, both correct and effective, often seem illogical. ...
— Logic - Deductive and Inductive • Carveth Read

... of him. Who was it that, in a burst of hyperbole, said that if one took up his station at Broadway and Thirty-fourth Street, he would, if he stayed there long enough, see everybody in the world go past? Or was it Kipling who ...
— Doubloons—and the Girl • John Maxwell Forbes

... flatterer,' said his mother, with a smile that showed how she prized the love that lay beneath what she took for its hyperbole. The praise even which one cannot accept is sweet from a true mouth. 'If that is all your new gift can do, it won't make a ...
— The Princess and the Curdie • George MacDonald

... discovery is strewn with rotten ships. Certainly if the great navigators, before venturing to face the unknown, had waited to be provided with vessels fit to make long voyages, the progress of research would have been much slower than was the case. It sounds like hyperbole to say that, when pitch and planks failed, these gallant seamen stopped their leaks with hope and ardour; but really, something like that is ...
— The Life of Captain Matthew Flinders • Ernest Scott

... also to know, that in the East one must use hyperbole, or else remain unheard; because the Eastern man must see a thing swelling to fill all heaven, or dwindled to a mere nothing, before he is suitably impressed. She immediately ...
— The Rainbow • D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence

... sir, in these observations, to any wanton hyperbole, or exaggerated assertions, they will, I hope, be pardoned by those who shall reflect upon the real absurdity of the proposal, which I am endeavouring to show in its true state, and by all who shall consider, that to return thanks for the management ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson, Vol. 11. - Parlimentary Debates II. • Samuel Johnson

... Hyperbole in estimating the value of the translator's work is not common among Lord Morley's successors, but their very recognition of the secondary importance of translation often resulted in a modest yet dignified insistence on its real value. Richard Eden says that he has labored "not as ...
— Early Theories of Translation • Flora Ross Amos

... them in our days upon philosophical principles; they attribute them to a diseased imagination, the prejudices of education, and hidden springs of the constitution; they reduce the expressions of Scripture to hyperbole; they maintain that Jesus Christ condescended to the understanding of the people, and their prepossessions or prejudices; that demons being purely spiritual substances could not by themselves act immediately upon bodies; and that it is not ...
— The Phantom World - or, The philosophy of spirits, apparitions, &c, &c. • Augustin Calmet

... the world like a beggar in a print by Callot; one-eyed, with great, splay crow's- feet round the sockets; a knotty squab nose coming down over his moustache; a miraculous hat; a shirt that had been white, ay, ages long ago; an alpaca coat in its last sleeves; and, without hyperbole, no buttons to his trousers. Even in these rags and tatters, the man twinkled all over with impudence like a piece of sham jewellery; and I have heard him offer a situation to one of his fellow-passengers ...
— Essays of Travel • Robert Louis Stevenson

... "love makes gods of men," and we have taken this phrase as a charming bit of hyperbole, whereas it is a literal truth, because when two individual souls have rounded and balanced their natures by means of love, they come together in an eternal union, and are immortal; "in their flesh they have seen God," ...
— Sex=The Unknown Quantity - The Spiritual Function of Sex • Ali Nomad

... say of a woman, that she only does not destroy where she passes. She should revive; the harebells should bloom, not stoop, as she passes. You think I am rushing into wild hyperbole? Pardon me, not a whit—I mean what I say in calm English, spoken in resolute truth. You have heard it said—(and I believe there is more than fancy even in that saying, but let it pass for a fanciful one)—that ...
— Harvard Classics Volume 28 - Essays English and American • Various

... splendid metonymy could not be applied upon a more trivial occasion; the lofty idea of raising a metal to the skies is substituted for the mean thought of tossing up a halfpenny. Our orator compresses his hyperbole into a single word. Thus the mind is prevented from dwelling long enough upon the figure to perceive its enormity. This is the perfection of the art. Let the genius of French exaggeration and of eastern hyperbole hide their diminished ...
— Tales and Novels, Vol. IV • Maria Edgeworth

... a dreadful suspicion they are not gentlemen. Are they ladies? Did I ever meet a Burgess, I wonder, coming through the rye? At all events, after so authoritative a statement of its social position, I feel that to speak of Literature as a profession would be an hyperbole. ...
— Some Private Views • James Payn

... in Byron himself. His weariness was a genuine outcome of the influence of the time upon a character consumed by passion. His lot was cast among spent forces, and, while it is no hyperbole to say that he was himself the most enormous force of his time, he was only half conscious of this, if indeed he did not always inwardly shrink from crediting his own power and strength, as so many strong men habitually ...
— Critical Miscellanies, Vol. I - Essay 3: Byron • John Morley

... omnibus conductor in the Strand, and you may marry a duke's daughter; you may have been an oyster-girl in New York, and you may entertain royalties. It is impossible to exaggerate an age of anomaly and hyperbole. There never was an age when people were so voracious of amusement, and so tired of it, both in one. It is a perpetual carnival and a permanent yawn. If you can do anything to amuse us you are safe—till we get used to you—and then you amuse no longer, and must go to the wall. Every age ...
— Wisdom, Wit, and Pathos of Ouida - Selected from the Works of Ouida • Ouida

... convulsion visit the United States, and England would feel the shock from Land's End to John o'Groat's. The lives of nearly two millions of our countrymen are dependent upon the cotton crops of America; their destiny may be said, without any sort of hyperbole, to ...
— Sunny Memories Of Foreign Lands, Volume 1 (of 2) • Harriet Elizabeth (Beecher) Stowe

... appropriately. There is no suggestion of mawkishness in his discourse. Our Ferdinand, however, is distinctly spoony. There went no poetic irony to his creation, and he has no saving sense of humor. He never seems, like Romeo, to be toying with hyperbole in an artistic spirit, but it is all dead earnest. Such a love-lorn youth must expect to recruit his admirers chiefly from the ranks of the very young. And yet there are times, just as in the case of Karl Moor, when Ferdinand's rhetoric becomes impressive ...
— The Life and Works of Friedrich Schiller • Calvin Thomas

... proportions, more statuesque, and more deliberately and advisedly to be characterized by no adequate word but the word magnificent, (a word too often and lightly abused.) In reality, speaking of women, I have seen many beautiful figures, but hardly one except Agnes that could, without hyperbole, be styled truly and memorably magnificent. Though in the first order of tall women, yet, being full in person, and with a symmetry that was absolutely faultless, she seemed to the random sight as little above ...
— Narrative And Miscellaneous Papers • Thomas De Quincey

... was not used to this type of man, nor had she met any one who used hyperbole in conversation. At first she fancied that he might be chaffing her, but she was too intelligent to harbor that idea, so convincing was his innate sincerity; but nevertheless, she meant to ...
— The Black Pearl • Mrs. Wilson Woodrow

... July and August, the scarlet lobelia, the cardinal-flower, is to be found. Never was cardinal so robed. If Herbert's rose, in poetic hyperbole, with its "hue angry and brave, bids the rash gazer wipe his eye," certainly such a bed of lobelia as I once saw on the road to "Rollo's Camp" was anything but what the Scotch would call "a sight for sair een." For the space of a dozen or twenty yards grew a patch of absolutely nothing ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 27, January, 1860 • Various

... letters, describing the (imaginary) death and decrepitude of his correspondent's friends in England; although he takes care (the next day) to tell him that his first was a "lying letter." Indeed, that letter itself, humorous as it is, is so obviously manufactured in the fabulous district of hyperbole, that it requires no disavowal. Manning, however, returns to England not long afterwards; and then the correspondence, if less humorous, is also less built up of improbabilities. He corresponds also ...
— Charles Lamb • Barry Cornwall

... his soldiers had refused to enter upon, but which he certainly would have invaded at a future opportunity, were it only to efface the poignant humiliation of having been compelled to relinquish his proclaimed purpose. Tho this sounds like romance and hyperbole, it was nothing more than the real insatiate aspiration of Alexander, who looked upon every new acquisition mainly as a capital for acquiring more. "You are a man like all of us, Alexander" (said the naked Indian to him), "except that you abandon your home like a meddlesome destroyer, ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Vol. V (of X) - Great Britain and Ireland III • Various

... It is not hyperbole to say that Booker T. Washington was a great American. For twenty years before his death he had been the most useful, as well as the most distinguished, member of his race in the world, and one of the most useful, ...
— Booker T. Washington - Builder of a Civilization • Emmett J. Scott and Lyman Beecher Stowe

... belief, no more than to be Cawdor." No! it naturally stands much less within the prospect of belief. Here the mind of Macbeth, having long been accustomed to the nurture of its "royal hope," conceives that it is uttering a very suitable hyperbole of comparison. Had that mind been hitherto an honest mind the word "Cawdor" would have occupied the place of "king," "king" that of "Cawdor." Observe too the general character of this speech: Although the coincidence of the principal ...
— The Germ - Thoughts towards Nature in Poetry, Literature and Art • Various

... whatever hyperbole is," said Jim; "but if so, hyperbole is a darned poor means of self-defence. Yes, the trouble is you are against ...
— Over the Pass • Frederick Palmer

... starving and ragged, treads the road of sacrifice to death, our sympathy is checked by the consciousness of his unmitigated and needless pliancy, until we withhold the tribute of sorrow due to the misfortunes of a Lear or a Pere Goriot. The romance, however, though sketched out extravagantly between hyperbole and parable, fairly scintillates with brilliancies and good things: we could hardly indicate another imported novel of the length actually containing so much. Nothing can be more comical than the ...
— Lippincott's Magazine. Vol. XII, No. 33. December, 1873. • Various

... on the utterance of a password at the door. A snatch of song, an oli, denominated mele kahea, or mele wehe puka, was chanted, which, on being recognized by those within, was answered in the same language of hyperbole, and the door ...
— Unwritten Literature of Hawaii - The Sacred Songs of the Hula • Nathaniel Bright Emerson

... gestures, too. But, dompnedex, madame! I am past master in these specious ecstasies, for somehow I have rarely seen the woman who had not some charm or other to catch my heart with. I confess now that you alone have never quickened it. My only purpose was through hyperbole to wheedle you out of a horse, and meanwhile to have my recreation, you handsome jade!—and that is all you ever meant to me. I swear to you that is all, all, all!" sobbed Perion, for it appeared that he must die. "I have amused myself with you, I ...
— Domnei • James Branch Cabell et al

... inconceivable as the offspring of any other soil in the world. Emerson, it has been said, not without truth, was the first of the American humourists, carrying into metaphysics that gift of realistic vision and inspired hyperbole which has somehow been grafted upon the Anglo-Saxon character by the conditions of American life. As for Hawthorne, though he has felt and reproduced the physical charm of Rome more subtly than any other artist, his genius drew ...
— America To-day, Observations and Reflections • William Archer

... answer, in all good conscience, yes. The motto with which I began states the truth somewhat strongly, perhaps (it must be remembered where I got it), but aside from that one bit of harmless borrowed hyperbole, I have delivered a plain, unvarnished tale. For all that, however, I do not expect my industrious fellow-citizens to fall in at once with my opinion that winter is a pleasant season at the seashore (it would be too bad they should, as far as my own enjoyment is concerned), ...
— The Foot-path Way • Bradford Torrey

... peach-blossom complexion, her soft contralto voice, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, as per foregoing bald description, and as per what can, by imaginative effort, be pictured from the Pujolic hyperbole, by which I, the unimportant narrator of these chronicles, ...
— The Joyous Adventures of Aristide Pujol • William J. Locke

... is an hypothesis compared with which the creation of the world in its entirety six thousand years ago, including the fossils and remains of aeonian civilizations, is lucid and intelligible. This is no hyperbole. For if once we allow creation at all, the creation of the world at any stage of Evolution is just as conceivable as the creation of primordial atoms. If any living thing were now created (e.g., a grain of corn or a full ear) it would bear in itself the apparent evidence of having grown to its ...
— The Faith of the Millions (2nd series) • George Tyrrell

... after facing the perils of navigation in strange waters, the possible hostility of native rulers, and the still greater danger from European rivals, half his ships returned. The last statement is no hyperbole; of 9 ships sent to the East from Amsterdam in 1598, four came back, and just half of the 22 sent out from the ...
— A History of Sea Power • William Oliver Stevens and Allan Westcott

... thee, There stands my only representative; [Withdrawing curtains. She is my proxy, and I charge you, sir, Be faithful unto her as unto me! Into her quietly attentive ear Pour all thy treasures of hyperbole, And give thy nimble tongue full license, lest Disuse should rust its glib machinery; [Advancing. If thoughts of love should haply crowd on thee, There stands my other self, tell them to her, She'll listen well; nay, that's ungenerous, For she is I, yet lovelier than I, And hath no temper, sir, ...
— Standard Selections • Various

... themselves the cause of their being misrepresented; there is no country perhaps, in which the habit of deceiving for amusement, or what is termed hoaxing, is so common. Indeed this and the hyperbole constitute the major part of American humour. If they have the slightest suspicion that a foreigner is about to write a book, nothing appears to give them so much pleasure as to try to mislead him; this has constantly been practised upon me, and for all I know, they may in some instances ...
— Diary in America, Series One • Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)

... traducers. The exiled Emperor had become their hero and their martyr, just as impressively as he was and remained that of the French; and from them and other sources were handed down to the generation of merchant seamen those tales which were told with the usual love of hyperbole characteristic of the sailor, and wiled away many dreary hours while traversing trackless oceans. They would talk about the sea fights of Aboukir and Trafalgar, and the battles of Arcola, Marengo, Jena, Austerlitz, the Russian campaign, the retreat from Moscow, ...
— The Tragedy of St. Helena • Walter Runciman

... The hyperbole of bores it is, to bore Congress for a hundred thousand dollars to go to the Pole! If Captain HALL wants adventure, let him travel to the Halls of the MONTEZUMAS. If he wishes only to be left out in the cold, let him go to Chili; or ...
— Punchinello, Vol. 1, No. 6, May 7, 1870 • Various

... Dante, who is at once the most precise and homely in his reproduction of actual objects, and the most soaringly at large in his imaginative combinations. On a much lower level we distinguish the hyperbole and rapid development in descriptions of persons and events which are lit up by humorous intention in the speaker—we distinguish this charming play of intelligence which resembles musical improvisation on a given motive, ...
— Impressions of Theophrastus Such • George Eliot

... the social structure to its base," "reduce society to chaos," "subvert the foundations of morality," "make life intolerable," "confound the order of nature," etc. These various locutions are, no doubt, of the nature of hyperbole; but, at the same time, like all overstatement, they are evidence of a lively sense of the gravity of the consequences which they are intended to describe. The effect of these and like innovations in deranging the accepted scheme of life is felt to be of much graver consequence ...
— The Theory of the Leisure Class • Thorstein Veblen

... more essential to an understanding of the essence of love, and a better test of it, than the sentiments named by Spencer. He ignores also the absolutely essential traits of individual preference and monopolism, besides coyness, hyperbole, the mixed moods of hope and despair, and purity, with the diverse emotions accompanying them. An effort to trace the evolution of the ingredients of love was first made in my book, though in a fragmentary way, in ...
— Primitive Love and Love-Stories • Henry Theophilus Finck

... over much that may be said of like purport upon Hyperbole, Personification, Apostrophe, &c., let us close our remarks upon construction by a typical example. The general principle which has been enunciated is, that other things equal, the force of all verbal forms and arrangements is great, in proportion as the ...
— The Philosophy of Style • Herbert Spencer

... was darkened at the death of a great man. Even the death of a friend was supposed to bow nature with despair; and Milton in Lycidas mourned the friend he had lost in what nowadays seems to us the pasteboard hyperbole: ...
— The Pleasures of Ignorance • Robert Lynd

... of the air. "The heaven is the chief's," say the Zulus; and when he calls out his men, "though the heaven is clear, it becomes clouded by the great wind that arises". Other Zulus explain this as the mere hyperbole of adulation. "The word of the chief gives confidence to his troops; they say, 'We are going; the chief has already seen all that will happen in his vessel'. Such then are chiefs; they use a vessel ...
— Myth, Ritual, and Religion, Vol. 1 • Andrew Lang

... a tale of wild romance, and myth, In large hyperbole the New World told, And down from days of Raleigh and of ...
— A Wreath of Virginia Bay Leaves • James Barron Hope

... indeed Paul Somerset," returned the other, "or what remains of him after a well-deserved experience of poverty and law. But in you, Challoner, I can perceive no change; and time may be said, without hyperbole, to write no wrinkle on your ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 5 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... in such a scene. The figure of a quiet slumber is no hyperbole, but a sober verity. As the gentle smile of a foretasted heaven is seen playing on the marble lips—the rays gilding the mountain tops after the golden sun has gone down—what more befitting reflection than this, "So ...
— Memories of Bethany • John Ross Macduff

... had indeed affirmed that the housework to be done at The Shrubbery was nothing, she was guilty of hyperbole. All the same, the house was an easy one, and such labour as its upkeep entailed melted, beneath the perfectly organized attention of herself, Anne, and Lyveden, as snow beneath the midday sun. The three had more legitimate leisure than any three servants in England, and no residence in Europe ...
— Anthony Lyveden • Dornford Yates

... indeed compelled him) that Rickman was the sort of young fool for which there is no salvation. And by the time Rickman had replied with suitable hyperbole; and Maddox, because of the great love he bore to Rickman, had observed that if Rickman chose to cut his confused throat he might do so without its being a matter of permanent regret to Maddox; and Rickman, because ...
— The Divine Fire • May Sinclair

... Pharsalia. We see the sacrifice of the whole to the parts, neglect of the matter in an over-studious regard for the manner, aself-conscious tone appealing rather to an audience than to a reader, venting itself in apostrophes, digressions, hyperbole (over-drawn description), episodes and epigrams, an unhappy laboriousness that strains itself to be first-rate for a moment, but leaves the poem second-rate ...
— Helps to Latin Translation at Sight • Edmund Luce

... visit David in the gloomy wood that day and uncrown himself for him? It was just this reason: It was because he loved him. Again and again the story had said that Jonathan loved David as his own soul. I thought it was a mere hyperbole at first. I thought it might be a kind of poetic way of putting it, but it was only sober truth. And David spoke sober truth in that noble and manly lamentation when he said, "Thy love was wonderful to me, ...
— Sermons on Biblical Characters • Clovis G. Chappell

... there may be an indefinite degree of hyperbole. The language of love and hate, of confidence and despair, is not the language of description. In this train of the religious consciousness there is occasion for whatever eloquence man can feel, and whatever rhetorical luxuriance he ...
— The Approach to Philosophy • Ralph Barton Perry

... the English people—rash, impatient, and capricious; elevated to exultation by the least gleam of success, dejected even to despondency by the most inconsiderable frown of adverse fortune; sanguine, even to childish hyperbole, in applauding those servants of the public who have prospered in their undertakings; clamorous, to a degree of prosecution, against those who have miscarried in their endeavours, without any investigation of merit, without ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.II. - From William and Mary to George II. • Tobias Smollett

... sincerity of Mark Twain's berserker-like rage over the attitude of Europe in China, the barbarities of Russian autocracy, and the horrors of America's methods in the Philippines, copied after Weyler's reconcentrado policy in Cuba. His study of Christian Science, despite its hyperbole, its gross exaggerations and unfulfilled prophecies, is the expression of glorified common-sense, a sociological study of religious fanaticism comprehensive in psychological analysis of national and ...
— Mark Twain • Archibald Henderson

... the same judicious oversight we have when "in rushed Nat, under great excitement, with his eyes 'as large as saucers,' to use a hyperbole, which means only that his eyes looked very large indeed." The impression which would have been made upon the rising generation, had the testimony been allowed to go forth without its corrective, that upon a certain occasion any Governor's eyes were really as large as saucers, even ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 85, November, 1864 • Various

... difficulty in describing without seeming hyperbole the impressions I daily received, and beheld confirmed by facts, of the extraordinary spirit of movement that appears to impel men and things in this country; this great hive wherein there be no drones; this field in which every man finds place for his plough, and where each hand seems actually ...
— Impressions of America - During The Years 1833, 1834, and 1835. In Two Volumes, Volume II. • Tyrone Power

... were such! Why, when he spoke—it was positively music! When he smiled—it was heaven! His smile, to Sophia, was one of those natural phenomena which are so lovely that they make you want to shed tears. There is no hyperbole in this description of Sophia's sensations, but rather an under-statement of them. She was utterly obsessed by the unique qualities of Mr. Scales. Nothing would have persuaded her that the peer of Mr. Scales existed among men, or could ...
— The Old Wives' Tale • Arnold Bennett

... three hours, an' no one gets a verbal rise outen him more'n if he's a graven image. Vance is gettin' proud of himse'f, an' Jenkins, who comes prowlin' 'round the game at times, begins to reckon mebby Vance'll do. All goes well ontil a party lets fly some hyperbole about a tavern he strikes in Little Rock, which for size an' extensif characteristics lays over anythin' on earth like ...
— Wolfville Days • Alfred Henry Lewis

... XIV. suggests ultra-lavishness in life and taste; a time when French society, surfeited with pleasure, demanded a stimulus of continual novelty in current literature. The natural result was preciosite, hyperbole, falsetto sentiment, which ranked the unusual above the natural, clever conceit above careful workmanship. It was tainted with artificiality, and now ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol. 5 • Various

... Moors, and were modified to a considerable extent by the civilization of each. Moorish influence was predominant in Spain—Portugal retained more deeply the Roman stamp. This is easily seen in the literature of the two countries. Spanish ballads and plays show the Eastern delight in hyperbole, the Eastern fertility of invention: Portuguese literature is completely classic in spirit, avoiding all exaggeration, all offences against taste, and confining itself to classic forms, such as the pastoral, the epic and the sonnet. Many Moorish customs survive in Portugal to this day, but they ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 26, October, 1880 • Various

... apprehensiveness. He had the air of an unwilling guide detailed to conduct an unsuspecting innocent to be shocked by the revelations of a chamber of horrors; she put it that way to herself in jesting hyperbole. ...
— All-Wool Morrison • Holman Day

... Mendelssohn in 1829, he describes a mail-coach journey from Glasgow to Liverpool. Among other things he mentions that the changing of horses was done in about forty seconds. This was not the language of mere hyperbole, for where the stoppage was one for the purpose of changing horses only the official time ...
— A Hundred Years by Post - A Jubilee Retrospect • J. Wilson Hyde

... ever speaks out his thought directly; he disguises and suggests it by imagery, allusion, hyperbole; he overlays it with light irony and feigned anger, with gentle mischief and assumed humility. The more the thing to be guessed differs from the thing said, the more pleasant surprise there is for the interlocutor or the correspondent concerned. These charming and delicate ...
— Amiel's Journal • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... wrong. He meant that riches may possibly keep their possessor from Christian discipleship and that one who seeks to satisfy himself with such wealth as keeps him from Christ can never enter the Kingdom of God. Jesus even added a pardonable hyperbole, "It is easier for a camel to enter in through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." One who would enter that Kingdom must become as a little child; he must abandon all trust in self, and be willing to sacrifice anything which prevents his becoming an obedient ...
— The Gospel of Luke, An Exposition • Charles R. Erdman

... perceived that in various ways he was insincere. When he prattled compliments and expressions of devotion, whether to herself or to others, she made Spanish allowance. It was polite hyperbole; it was about the same as saying good-morning; it was a cheerful way of talking that they had in Mexico; she knew thus much from her social experience. But while she cared little for his adulations, she did not because of them consider him a ...
— Overland • John William De Forest

... in another direction, far from nature and art, hence he did not know them; he had not had the time. He looked at a field, at snow, at a forest—and he saw a field, snow, a forest—nothing higher, nothing more. He was of those who call a cat a cat, a rogue a rogue, and hold every hyperbole, ode, and enthusiasm in silent contempt. He listened to his lyric companion, at first with curiosity, investigating in the man a certain kind of people little known to him. When he had finished he listened only through politeness, and with concealed annoyance. He concealed ...
— The Argonauts • Eliza Orzeszko (AKA Orzeszkowa)

... conferred upon that loyal Moslem Kheyred-Din Barbarossa, who, in the words of the Padishah, "abandoning a sterile independence, sought in all the bloody hazards of his life nought but the glory of God and His Prophet" To us this hyperbole, addressed to a pirate, seems merely ridiculous, but in those days of fanaticism the beliefs of men, both Christians and Moslems, are something which it is impossible for us to realise. On either side the way of salvation was the path of conquest, and the man who was heretic ...
— Sea-Wolves of the Mediterranean • E. Hamilton Currey

... genuine endeavour to construct, if only for one class, a practicable code of conduct at a time when religion too often gloried in demanding the impossible. Chivalry degenerated into extravagance and conventional hyperbole; but at the worst it had the merit of investing human relationships and human occupations with an ideal significance. In particular it gave to women a more honourable position than they had occupied in any social system of antiquity. It rediscovered one half ...
— Medieval Europe • H. W. C. Davis

... speak, That am his guardian; would I had a son Might merit commendations equal[350] with him. I'll tell you what he is: he is a youth, A noble branch, increasing blessed fruit, Where caterpillar vice dare not to touch: He bears[351] himself with so much gravity, Praise cannot praise him with hyperbole: He is one, whom older look upon as on a book: Wherein are printed noble sentences For them to rule their lives by. Indeed he is one, All emulate his virtues, ...
— A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. IX • Various

... more swiftly though more subtly than Ruskin or Swinburne to undermining the enormous complacency of John Bull. He also had a sincere hope in the strength of womanhood, and may be said, almost without hyperbole, to have begotten gigantic daughters. He may yet suffer for his chivalric interference as many champions do. I have little doubt that when St. George had killed the dragon he was heartily afraid of the princess. But certainly ...
— The Victorian Age in Literature • G. K. Chesterton

... Hutch kesto. Hyacinth hiacinto. Hydra hidro. Hydrogen hidrogeno. Hydropathy akvokuraco. Hydrophobia hidrofobio. Hydrostatic hidrostatika. Hyena hieno. Hygrometer higrometro. Hygrometry higrometrio. Hymn himno. Hyperbole hiperbolo. Hyphen streketo. Hypnotic hipnota. Hypnotism hipnotismo. Hypnotize hipnotigi. Hypochondria hipohxondrio. Hypocrisy hipokriteco. Hypocrite hipokritulo. Hypocritical hipokrita. Hypothesis hipotezo. Hypotenuse ...
— English-Esperanto Dictionary • John Charles O'Connor and Charles Frederic Hayes

... had fought under Harold began to draw near to each other." Macaulay was a great scene painter, who neglected delicate truths of detail for exaggerated distemper effects. He used the {283} rhetorical machinery of climax and hyperbole for all that it was worth, and he "made points"—as in his essay on Bacon—by creating antithesis. In his History of England, he inaugurated the picturesque method of historical writing. The book was as fascinating as any novel. Macaulay, like Scott, had the historic imagination, though his method ...
— Brief History of English and American Literature • Henry A. Beers

... that overtower and seem to have choked out whatever furze of original Buddhism there was in Japan, while in the domain of Confucianism there is a barren heath. Whereas, in China, the voluminous literature created by commentators on Confucius and the commentaries on the commentators suggests the hyperbole used by the author of John's Gospel,[8] yet there is probably nothing on Confucianism from the Japanese pen in the thousand years under our review which is worth the reading or the translation.[9] In this respect the ...
— The Religions of Japan - From the Dawn of History to the Era of Meiji • William Elliot Griffis

... Mr. Pike to the rescue. I understand now the Western hyperbole of "hitting the high places." The mate did not seem in contact with the deck. My impression was that he soared through the air to me, landing beside me, and, in the instant of landing, kicking out with one of those big feet ...
— The Mutiny of the Elsinore • Jack London

... singing comedienne, Prima Donna and Star, direct from her unusual and most distinguished triumph at the Palace Theater, London; and a dozen more of the younger and more popular people of the stage, all adorned, with adjectives and hyperbole. Down at the bottom of the list with a trembling pencil he wrote: "Harry Barnes, Singing and Talking." Then he shook hands with the secretary of the organization and walked back to his boarding-house in a mild fever ...
— McClure's Magazine, Vol. XXXI, No. 3, July 1908. • Various

... children, and talking to her friends of the prodigious sacrifice she was about to make for her brother and his family, as if it had been the cutting off of a hand or the plucking out of an eye. To have heard her, anyone unaccustomed to the hyperbole of fashionable language would have deemed Botany Bay the nearest possible point of destination. Parting from her fashionable acquaintances was tearing herself from all she loved; quitting London was bidding ...
— Marriage • Susan Edmonstone Ferrier

... should not use hyperbole any more than metaphors. Both are unsolid food. When you decide not to love, ...
— Samuel Brohl & Company • Victor Cherbuliez

... just cleared 100o, and I went home a beaten man. I had not felt the heat before, save as a beautiful exaggeration of sunshine; but now it oppressed me with the prosaic vulgarity of an oven. What had been poetic intensity became all at once rhetorical hyperbole. I might suspect his thermometer (as indeed I did, for we Harvard men are apt to think ill of any graduation but our own); but it was a poor consolation. The fact remained that his herald Mercury, standing a tiptoe, could look down on mine. I seem to glimpse something of this familiar weakness ...
— My Garden Acquaintance • James Russell Lowell

... in confusion at having been led into hyperbole. But he took her shoulders in his huge but kindly hands, somewhat to her alarm—for, in her world, she was not accustomed to gigantic males laying unceremonious ...
— Jaffery • William J. Locke

... Poor white people have not the slightest chance of his good opinion. The pedigree and history of his master's family possess an epic dignity in his imagination; and the liberty he takes with facts concerning them amounts to a grand poetical hyperbole. He represents their wealth in past times to have amounted to something of a fabulous superfluity, and their magnificence so unbounded, that he stares at you in describing it, as if ...
— Atlantic Monthly Vol. 6, No. 33, July, 1860 • Various

... address of Tobias, 4, 11, ought to be received: Alms free from every sin and from death. We will not say that this is hyperbole, although it ought thus to be received, so as not to detract from the praise of Christ, whose prerogative it is to free from sin and death. But we must come back to the rule that without Christ the doctrine of the Law is of no profit. Therefore those alms please God which follow reconciliation ...
— The Apology of the Augsburg Confession • Philip Melanchthon

... This too is probably hyperbole, but Vespasian may have owed his command in Germany to the influence ...
— Tacitus: The Histories, Volumes I and II • Caius Cornelius Tacitus

... was, naturally, her main object; and if a sojourn at some rather dull spot in the Ardennes, promised to secure this desired end, let it be accepted without hesitation. For the proverbial creaking, yet long-hanging, gate—here Henrietta had the delicacy to take refuge in hyperbole—she had no liking whatever. She could not remember the time when Darby and Joan had struck her as an otherwise than preposterous couple, offspring ...
— Deadham Hard • Lucas Malet

... attendants, making in all about fifty, came together from the nine tribes of the nation, and met him in solemn council on the afternoon of May 18th. Speeches, not lacking in interest, but full of Indian hyperbole and the inflations of interpreters, were made by the chiefs, and answered by Oglethorpe through the medium of Messrs. Wiggin and Musgrove; and on May ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, v. 13 • Various

... with a movement of pleasant interest, meant to verify his recent gallant promise; but he turned so quickly that his face had no time to come into the kindly conspiracy, and no triumph of hyperbole could have described ...
— Captivating Mary Carstairs • Henry Sydnor Harrison

... fine and profound passage in the sixth book of the Republic, where he says that the good is the cause of all intelligence in the mind and of all intelligibility in the object, and indeed the principle of all essence and existence—if Plato could have foreseen what his oracular hyperbole was to breed in the world, we may well believe that he would have expunged it from his pages with the same severity with which he banished the poets from his State. In the lips of Socrates, and at that juncture in the argument of the Republic, ...
— The Life of Reason • George Santayana

... himself as the friend of God, he might very naturally be looked upon as a religious teacher, and men might gather together to learn from his lips or profit by his example. Hence, making due allowance for Eastern hyperbole, the statement of the Book of Jasher (chap. xxvi. verse 36) is not undeserving of credit, where it is said that "Abraham brought all the children of the land to the service of God, and he taught ...
— Hebraic Literature; Translations from the Talmud, Midrashim and - Kabbala • Various

... since the Democrats of the metropolis had had a State executive. Edwards Pierrepont said that "no man in the convention was born when the last Democratic governor was elected from New York or Brooklyn."[1083] This, of course, was hyperbole, since Pierrepont himself could remember when, at the opening of the Erie Canal, Governor DeWitt Clinton, amidst the roar of artillery and the eloquence of many orators, passed through the locks at Albany, uniting the waters of Lake Erie with those of the Hudson. Perhaps the thought of ...
— A Political History of the State of New York, Volumes 1-3 • DeAlva Stanwood Alexander

... curiously compounded of Puritan loathing, poetic scorn, and wellbred shrinking from the vulgarity of the green-room. And it is clear that before the last plays, Luria and A Soul's Tragedy, were published his old stage ambition had entirely vanished. It was not altogether hyperbole (in any case the hyperbole was wholly unconscious) when he spoke of her as a new medium to which his sight was gradually becoming adjusted, "seeing all things, ...
— Robert Browning • C. H. Herford

... lovely statuette of Pallas that stands on the mantelpiece, and said bitterly, 'Edna Earl has no more heart than that marble Athena.' Whereupon I replied, 'Take care, Gordon. I notice that of late you seem inclined to deal rather too freely in hyperbole. Edna's heart may resemble the rich veins of gold, which in some mines run not near the surface but deep in the masses of quartz. Because you can not obtain it, you have no right to declare that it ...
— St. Elmo • Augusta J. Evans

... not to be outdone in courtesy, Rex warned him not to put too large charges of powder for fear the barrel should burst—being so old. A caution which I believe to be totally unnecessary, and a mere hyperbole of depreciation—as Peter seemed perfectly to understand! He told me it was "The first present I ever receive from a gentleman. Well—well—I never forget it, the longest day I live." The graceful candour with which he said, "I am very thankful to ...
— Juliana Horatia Ewing And Her Books • Horatia K. F. Eden

... of the volume, there is not one new nor curious article, unless it be Lady Hood's "Tiger Hunt." In your Mechanics there is a miserable want of information, and in your Statistics there is a sad superabundance of American hyperbole and dulness mixed together, like the mud and gunpowder which, when a boy, I used to mix together to make a fizz. Your Poetry is so bad that I look upon it as your personal kindness to me that you did not ...
— A Publisher and His Friends • Samuel Smiles

... well as the most important and those oftenest used are, Simile, Metaphor, Personification, Allegory, Synechdoche, Metonymy, Exclamation, Hyperbole, Apostrophe, Vision, Antithesis, Climax, ...
— How to Speak and Write Correctly • Joseph Devlin

... had turned from the genuine affections and their self-forgetting inspirations, to the end that his understanding, or the faculty designated by the word head as opposed to heart, might curiously construct a fabric to be wondered at. Hyperbole in the language of Montrose is a mean instrument made mighty because wielded by an afflicted soul, and strangeness is here the order of Nature. Montrose stretched after remote things, but was at the same time propelled towards ...
— The Prose Works of William Wordsworth • William Wordsworth

... will find the most of what extravagance there is in English literature. In America you find extravagance in our humor, and this humor, perhaps, owes as much of its extravagance to an Irish ancestry as to an environment of new wonders that could not be well expressed save in hyperbole. ...
— Irish Plays and Playwrights • Cornelius Weygandt

... somewhat allied to hyperbole, even in its most ordinary expressions, now seemed almost too weak to afford Elspat the means of bringing out the splendid picture which she presented to her son of the land in which she proposed to him to take refuge. Yet the colours were few with which she could paint her Highland ...
— Chronicles of the Canongate • Sir Walter Scott

... cabin window." It was thus that a certain North Country shipowner once summarised his career while addressing his fellow-townsmen on some public occasion now long past, and the sentence, giving forth the exact truth with all a sailor's delight in hyperbole, may well be taken to describe the earlier life-stages gone through by the author of this book. The experiences acquired in a field of operations, that includes all the seas and continents where commerce may move, live, and have its being, have enhanced in value and completed what came to ...
— Windjammers and Sea Tramps • Walter Runciman

... exclusive companionship palm-trees plumed like queens; there sycamores, overtopping laurels of darker foliage; and evergreen oaks rising verdantly, with cedars vast enough to be kings on Lebanon; and mulberries; and terebinths so beautiful it is not hyperbole to speak of them as blown ...
— Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ • Lew Wallace

... soft movement of a subsiding pillow. The puckers of his cumbrous eyelids drew a little closer together; his bilious eyes peered out cautiously between them, like sallow assassins watching through curtained windows; for a minute or so he kept up what might without hyperbole be called a devil of ...
— Stories by American Authors (Volume 4) • Constance Fenimore Woolson

... poets give themselves pains to describe gardens and pavilions and other things, and think they are beautifying their work, but this is all dreaming and waste of words; I will have no such hyperbole. (Hyperbole means by definition that which is untrue and incredible.) I will only say of this pavilion that there was ...
— Epic and Romance - Essays on Medieval Literature • W. P. Ker

... 13, at last answers the question. His sudden turning to his own conduct is beautiful. He will not so much command others, as proclaim his own determination. He does so with characteristic vehemence and hyperbole. No doubt the liberal party in Corinth were ready to complain against the proposal to restrict their freedom because of others' weakness; and they would be disarmed, or at least silenced, and might be stimulated to like noble resolution, ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture: Romans Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V) • Alexander Maclaren



Words linked to "Hyperbole" :   image, trope, hyperbolic, figure of speech, hyperbolize



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