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hyperbole: n. A figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect, as in I could sleep for a year or This book weighs a ton.

Let us read the following sentence:

Well, her boys were prone to hyperbole, and she was not sure how to credit their stories. (source)

Can anybody explain the meaning of "hyperbole" in that context?

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closed as general reference by Mahnax, simchona Aug 30 '12 at 16:41

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

They were prone to exaggeration. The dictionary entry you quote seems to satisfactorily answer your own question. :) – Zairja Aug 30 '12 at 16:39
@Zairja No. You are wrong! There the word "hyperbole" is not a figure of speech. – Elberich Schneider Aug 30 '12 at 16:42
Closed! Ok, but without a clear reason is bad! – Elberich Schneider Aug 30 '12 at 16:46
It is perfectly acceptable to have "prone to [noun]" to convey the same meaning. I could say, "She is prone to sickness" or "She is prone to getting sick". Likewise, I can say, "They are prone to lies" or "They are prone to lying." I could say, "They are prone to hyperbole" or "They are prone to hyperbolizing." They mean the same thing. This is a general reference question because, again, the definition answers your own question! Don't exclaim someone else is wrong when they give you an answer that you don't fully understand. :) – Zairja Aug 30 '12 at 16:48
I am the author of the cited source. "[H]er boys were prone to hyperbole" means they have a history of "emphasizing what [they] are saying by describing it as far more extreme than it really is" (Macmillan Dictionary). I do not recall ever discussing this word choice with you – or anyone. Also I appreciate the praise but I fear you are now guilty of hyperbole yourself. – MετάEd Aug 30 '12 at 23:43

1 Answer 1

I would interpret "Her boys were prone to hyperbole" as meaning the same thing as "Her boys were prone to using hyperbole"

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