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hyperbole

hyperbole (hĪpûrˈbəlē) [key], a figure of speech in which exceptional exaggeration is deliberately used for emphasis rather than deception. Andrew Marvell employed hyperbole throughout To His Coy Mistress:

An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast;
But thirty thousand to the rest …

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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