This Is It! The Greatest List Of Hyperbole Examples

The hyperbole is the most glorious thing to ever happen to the world!

OK, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s hard not to get caught up in the moment when talking about the rhetorical and literary device known as a hyperbole. By using a hyperbole, we can produce writing so amazing that it belongs in a museum! (Oops, there’s an exaggeration again.)

Before we can do that, though, we first need to learn exactly what hyperboles are and look at useful hyperbole examples. A hyperbole is a rhetorical device, and it is often helpful to look at specific examples of devices to be able to identify them in speech and in writing, including in works of literature.

What is a hyperbole?

A hyperbole is an intentional exaggeration or an exaggerated statement that isn’t meant to be taken literally. The sentence I slept for a week after that tough practice is an example of a hyperbole. The speaker didn’t literally sleep for a week, but they are using hyperbole to express that they slept for a long time.

Hyperboles are typically used to make writing and speech more exciting using exaggeration. An imaginative hyperbole can capture the attention of a reader or listener as they analyze the hyperbole to understand the user’s actual meaning.

Hyperbole is an example of a rhetorical device. Typically, a rhetorical device is defined as a technique or word construction that a speaker or writer uses to win an audience to their side, either while trying to persuade them to do something or trying to win an argument. In the case of hyperbole specifically, exaggerated language can give an audience a sense of scale. For example, hyperbole can be used to imply an issue a speaker supports is very important or be used to imply an issue a speaker opposes is unimportant or dangerous. At the same time, hyperbole can help establish a rapport with an audience, as it’s often seen as an example of less formal language.

Hyperboles can add some magnitude and richness to how you talk about people. Learn some adjectives that can also elevate your descriptions of people’s personalities!

How should we use hyperbole?

In less formal writing and speech, hyperbole can be used alongside idioms and other figures of speech to make language more exciting and creative. For example:

  • I was studying in my room for several hours.
  • I was studying in my room for an eternity.

Both of these sentences express the same idea, but the second sentence uses hyperbole to make the sentence more interesting. A reader doesn’t know exactly how long the person studied, but they know it was a long time. They get to use their own imagination while determining the writer’s intended meaning. Colorful and engaging usage of language like this can draw an audience in.


At the same time, it is important not to confuse or mislead an audience. It should be clear whether or not a statement is a hyperbole. A good practice is to use extreme embellishment or impossible feats in your hyperbole to make it abundantly clear that you are exaggerating. For example:

  • Ambiguous hyperbole: There are twenty cats in the barn. (A possible event.)
  • Clear hyperbole: There are a billion cats in the barn. (An impossible exaggeration.)

In formal writing and serious situations, hyperbole must be used sparingly and effectively. Because hyperbole is often viewed as less formal, it may come across as inappropriate or make the user seem as though they aren’t serious. When an audience expects accurate information or hard facts, hyperbole can give the impression that the speaker doesn’t have the information the audience wants or is intentionally concealing it from them. Ill-timed use of hyperbole like this can damage the speaker’s credibility or weaken their influence over their audience.

You must be especially careful when using hyperbole while making an argument. Poor use of hyperbole is often associated with several different types of logical fallacies, such as the straw man argument (a fictional, exaggerated version of an opposing viewpoint) or the slippery slope fallacy (a claim that one initial action or event can create a greater, exaggerated calamity). Logical fallacies are a sign of a poor or untrustworthy speaker and will often strongly weaken your argument in the eyes of an audience. If you think that hyperbole is likely to alienate an audience, it is often best not to use hyperbole at all.

Many people embellish and stretch the truth on their résumés. But you don’t have to hyperbolize to make your work history stand out. Check out these action verbs to make your résumé stronger!

Examples of hyperbole

Now that we’ve learned about what hyperbole is, let’s look at more examples of hyperbole than you can count.

  • Jim fell off the roof and broke every bone in his body.
  • Don’t touch that hive unless you want to deal with a million angry bees.
  • We looked forever for the remote but couldn’t find it.
  • My sister will eat anything.
  • The whole world was against me, but I managed to complete the report on time.
  • That comment is the dumbest thing anyone has ever said.
  • My mom keeps checking up on me every five seconds.
  • The explosion was loud enough to wake the dead.
  • I told him a billion times to keep the window closed.
  • My dad will kill me if he finds out I failed my math test.
  • That house is older than the dinosaurs.
  • The TV weighed a ton, so I had to drag it across the room.
  • Our grandma was the smartest person who ever lived.
  • The star running back is a bulldozer who destroys anything in his path.
  • I was sweating buckets while working outside today.
  • We live in Dallas, and my brother lives a million miles away in Toronto.
  • Hurry up and hand me the scissors before I die of old age.
  • The clowns had the entire audience dying with laughter.
  • She’s been working nonstop on her new painting.
  • My job is so easy that a monkey could do it.
  • Our daughter is a little angel.
  • The smell was so bad it would’ve downed a bull elephant.
  • Gaston is stronger than 10 men and has a smile that lights up the room.
  • Since she got sick and stopped eating, my cat has been nothing but skin and bones.

Literary examples of hyperbole

His horses are the finest and strongest that I have ever seen, they are whiter than snow and fleeter than any wind that blows. —Iliad by Homer (7th/8th century BCE)

Nor was Stubb the only banqueter on whale’s flesh that night. Mingling their mumblings with his own mastications, thousands on thousands of sharks, swarming round the dead leviathan, smackingly feasted on its fatness. —Moby Dick by Herman Melville (1851)

It surprised me that what before was desert and gloomy should now bloom with the most beautiful flowers and verdure. My senses were gratified and refreshed by a thousand scents of delight and a thousand sights of beauty.Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (1818)

Animal fury and orgiastic license here whipped themselves to daemoniac heights by howls and squawking ecstasies that tore and reverberated through those nighted woods like pestilential tempests from the gulfs of hell. —The Call of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft (1928)

The vampire was utterly white and smooth, as if he were sculpted from bleached bone, and his face was as seemingly inanimate as a statue, except for two brilliant green eyes that looked down at the boy intently like flames in a skull. —Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice (1976)

Hyperboles are just one of a gazillion rhetorical devices you can use to strengthen your writing. Check out more here!

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