Hýperbole. n.s. [hyperbole, Fr. ὑπερβολὴ.] A figure in rhetorick by which any thing is increased or diminished beyond the exact truth: as, he runs faster than lightning. His possessions are fallen to dust. He was so gaunt, the case of a flagellet was a mansion for him. Shakesp.
Which, from the tongue of roaring Typhon dropt,
Would seem hyperboles. Shakes. Troilus and Cressida.
Taffata phrases, silken terms precise,
Three pil'd hyperboles, spruce affectation,
Figures pedantical, these Summer flies,
Have blown me full of maggot ostentation. Shakespeare.
They were above the hyperboles, that fond poetry bestows upon its admired objects. Glanv. Sceps. c. 1.
Hyperboles, so daring and so bold,
Disdaining bounds, and yet by rules control'd;
Above the clouds, but yet within our sight,
They mount with truth, and make a tow'ring flight. Granv.
The common people understand raillery, or at least rhetorick, and will not take hyperboles in too literal a sense. Swift.