Word of the Day : April 9, 2017

hyperbole

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noun hye-PER-buh-lee

Definition

: extravagant exaggeration

Did You Know?

In the 5th century B.C. there was a rabble-rousing Athenian, a politician named Hyperbolus, who often made exaggerated promises and claims that whipped people into a frenzy. But even though it sounds appropriate, Hyperbolus' name did not play a role in the development of the modern English word hyperbole. That noun does come to us from Greek (by way of Latin), but from the Greek verb hyperballein, meaning "to exceed," not from the name of the Athenian demagogue. Hyperballein itself was formed from hyper-, meaning "beyond," and ballein, "to throw."



Examples

"There are those in the organization who believe Bryant might not only be the best receiver on the team, he could be the best in the league. Whether it's true or mere hyperbole is not the point. What it indicates is the immense ability Bryant possesses." — Gerry Dulac, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 19 Feb. 2017

"It's not hyperbole to speculate that there is no director who has had a greater influence on the shape of cinema than Japanese filmmaker [Akira] Kurosawa. He directed 30 films, most of them good to great. 'Seven Samurai,' 'Yojimbo' and 'Rashomon' have been remade and borrowed from more times than can be counted…." — Barbara VanDenburgh, The Arizona Republic, 24 Feb. 2017



Word Family Quiz

What word beginning with "p" is derived from Greek ballein and refers to a short story that teaches a moral or spiritual lesson?

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