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v. ex·ag·ger·at·ed, ex·ag·ger·at·ing, ex·ag·ger·ates
To consider, represent, or cause to appear as larger, more important, or more extreme than is actually the case; overstate: exaggerated his own role in the episode; exaggerated the size of the enemy force; exaggerated how difficult the project would be.
To make overstatements.

[Latin exaggerāre, exaggerāt-, to heap up, magnify : ex-, intensive pref.; see ex- + aggerāre, to pile up (from agger, pile, from aggerere, to bring to : ad-, ad- + gerere, to bring).]

ex·ag′ger·at′ed·ly adv.
ex·ag′ger·a′tion n.
ex·ag′ger·a′tive, ex·ag′ger·a·to′ry (-ə-tôr′ē) adj.
ex·ag′ger·a′tor n.
Synonyms: exaggerate, inflate, magnify, overstate
These verbs mean to represent something as being larger or greater than it actually is: exaggerated the size of the fish I caught; inflated his own importance; magnifying her part in their success; overstated his income on the loan application.
Antonym: minimize
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ɪgˌzædʒ əˈreɪ ʃən)

1. the act of exaggerating or overstating.
2. an instance of exaggerating; an overstatement: His version of events is a gross exaggeration.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


 of fishermen—Hare.
Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.



all one’s geese are swans A proverbial expression said of one who is prone to overexaggeration and overestimation. Geese are rather unattractive, common birds in comparison to the rarer, more elegant swans; thus, to turn one’s geese to swans is, figuratively speaking, to color reality considerably. Use of this phrase, which is infrequently heard today, dates from at least the early 17th century.

The besetting temptation which leads local historians to turn geese into swans. (Saturday Review, July, 1884)

draw the longbow To exaggerate or overstate, to lay it on thick; to stretch the truth, to tell tall tales. The longbow, a weapon drawn by hand, was of central importance in the exploits of Robin Hood and his band. The farther back one stretched the bowstring, the farther the arrow would fly. It is easy to see how this literal stretching of the longbow came to mean a figurative stretching of the truth. This expression, in use since at least the latter part of the 17th century, appears in Lord Byron’s Don Juan (1824):

At speaking truth perhaps they are less clever,
But draw the long bow better now than ever.

fish story A tall tale, an exaggeration; an absurd or unbelievable account of one’s exploits. This colloquialism, in use since at least the early 19th century, derives from the propensity of many, if not all, fishermen to exaggerate the size of their catch. An important element in many fish stories is the angler’s lament, “You should have seen the one that got away.”


hyped-up Overblown, overly touted, inordinately promoted or publicized; artificially induced; bogus, contrived. The term’s origin stems from the use of a hypodermic injection to stimulate physiological response. In a 1950 syndicated column Billy Rose said of a movie:

No fireworks, no fake suspense, no hyped-up glamour.

The term has now given rise to the truncated form hype, used disparagingly both as noun and verb.

lay it on See FLATTERY.

make a mountain out of a molehill To make a to-do over a minor matter, to make a great fuss over a trifle. Although this particular expression did not appear until the late 16th century, the idea had been expressed centuries earlier by the Greek writer Lucian in his Ode to a Fly; it subsequently became the French proverb faire d’une mouche un éléphant ‘make an elephant of a fly.’

[This is] like making mountains out of molehills. (James Tait, Mind in Matter, 1892)

megillah See ANECDOTE.

shoot the bull See TALKATIVENESS.

snow job See MENDACITY.

song and dance A misleading, false, or exaggerated story designed to evoke sympathy or to otherwise evade an issue; a rigmarole; a snow job. Though the derivation of this expression is unclear, it probably alludes to the “song and dance” acts that introduced or filled in between the main attractions in a vaudeville show.

Labor leader Preble … was not impressed by the song and dance about [Stefan’s] mother and sister being persecuted and murdered. (Time, September 5, 1949)

spin a yarn To tell a story, especially a long, involved, exaggerated account of one’s exploits and adventures, both real and imagined; to tell a tall tale. Originally, spin a yarn was a nautical term that meant ‘to weave hemp into rope.’ Since this was a tedious, time-consuming task, sailors often traded tall tales and adventure stories to help pass the time. Thus, these stories came to be known as yarns, and their telling as spinning a yarn, by association.

Come, spin us a good yarn, father. (Frederick Marry at, Jacob Faithful, 1835)

talk through one’s hat To talk nonsense, to lie or exaggerate, to make farfetched or unsupported statements.

But when Mr. Wallace says that … he is talking through his hat. (The Chicago Daily News, December, 1944)

Use of this expression, whose origin as yet defies explanation, dates from the late 19th century.

talk through the back of one’s neck To use extravagant, flowery language, often sacrificing accuracy; to make unrealistic, illogical, or extraordinary statements.

“Don’t talk through yer neck,” snarled the convict. “Talk out straight, curse you!” (E. W. Hor-nung, Amateur Cracksman, 1899)

Through the back of one’s neck is here opposed to straight, which connotes directness, straightforwardness, and truthfulness.

Anybody who gets up in this House and talks about universal peace knows he is talking through the back of his neck. (Pall Mall Gazette, 1923)

Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1980 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.exaggeration - extravagant exaggerationexaggeration - extravagant exaggeration    
figure of speech, trope, image, figure - language used in a figurative or nonliteral sense
2.exaggeration - the act of making something more noticeable than usual; "the dance involved a deliberate exaggeration of his awkwardness"
step-up, increase - the act of increasing something; "he gave me an increase in salary"
3.exaggeration - making to seem more important than it really is
deception, misrepresentation, deceit - a misleading falsehood
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


noun overstatement, inflation, emphasis, excess, enlargement, pretension, extravagance, hyperbole, magnification, amplification, embellishment, exaltation, pretentiousness, overemphasis, overestimation Like most of his stories, it smacks of exaggeration.
restraint, understatement, underplaying, meiosis, litotes
"An exaggeration is a truth that has lost its temper" [Kahlil Gibran Sand and Foam]
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


The act or an instance of exaggerating:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
مُبالَغَةمُبالَغَهوَصْف مُبالَغ
sự phóng đại


[ɪgˈzædʒəreɪʃən] Nexageración f
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ɪgˌzædʒəˈreɪʃən] nexagération f
it would be an exaggeration to ... → il serait exagéré de ...
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


nÜbertreibung f; a bit of an exaggerationeine leichte Übertreibung, leicht übertrieben
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ɪgˌzædʒəˈreɪʃn] nesagerazione f
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(igˈzӕdʒəreit) verb
1. to make (something) appear to be, or describe it as, greater etc than it really is. You seem to be exaggerating his faults; That dress exaggerates her thinness.
2. to go beyond the truth in describing something etc. You can't trust her. She always exaggerates.
exˌaggeˈration noun
1. the act of exaggerating.
2. an exaggerated description, term etc. To say she is beautiful is an exaggeration, but she does have nice eyes.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


مُبالَغَة přehánění overdrivelse Übertreibung υπερβολή exageración liioittelu exagération pretjerivanje esagerazione 誇張 과장 overdrijving overdrivelse wyolbrzymienie exagero преувеличение överdrift การพูดเกินความจริง abartı sự phóng đại 夸张
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009


n. exageración, alarde.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
References in classic literature ?
All this would have been very well, if there had been no exaggeration. But the princess saw that her daughter was rushing into extremes, and so indeed she told her.
We got them in the American editions in payment for printing the publisher's prospectus, and their arrival was an excitement, a joy, and a satisfaction with me, which I could not now describe without having to accuse myself of exaggeration. The love of literature, and the hope of doing something in it, had become my life to the exclusion of all other interests, or it was at least the great reality, and all other things were as shadows.
As the story of 'Agnes Grey' was accused of extravagant over-colouring in those very parts that were carefully copied from the life, with a most scrupulous avoidance of all exaggeration, so, in the present work, I find myself censured for depicting CON AMORE, with 'a morbid love of the coarse, if not of the brutal,' those scenes which, I will venture to say, have not been more painful for the most fastidious of my critics to read than they were for me to describe.
The struggle in the smoke had pictured an exaggeration of itself on the bleached cheeks and in the eyes wild with one desire.
Had I seen it depicted in a novel, I should have thought it unnatural; had I heard it described by others, I should have deemed it a mistake or an exaggeration; but when I saw it with my own eyes, and suffered from it too, I could only conclude that excessive vanity, like drunkenness, hardens the heart, enslaves the faculties, and perverts the feelings; and that dogs are not the only creatures which, when gorged to the throat, will yet gloat over what they cannot devour, and grudge the smallest morsel to a starving brother.
He enjoyed the feeling which he was exciting, and paraded the town serene and happy all day; but the young fellows set a tailor to work that night, and when Tom started out on his parade next morning, he found the old deformed Negro bell ringer straddling along in his wake tricked out in a flamboyant curtain-calico exaggeration of his finery, and imitating his fancy Eastern graces as well as he could.
I conclude these remarks by copying the following portrait of the religion of the south, (which is, by communion and fellowship, the religion of the north,) which I soberly affirm is "true to the life," and without caricature or the slightest exaggeration. It is said to have been drawn, several years before the present anti-slavery agitation began, by a north- ern Methodist preacher, who, while residing at the south, had an opportunity to see slaveholding mor- als, manners, and piety, with his own eyes.
But in a confederacy the people, without exaggeration, may be said to be entirely the masters of their own fate.
She was therefore obliged to seek another branch of the subject, and related, with much bitterness of spirit and some exaggeration, the shocking rudeness of Mr.
Joe put a cap on her head and turned up the collar, which was generous to exaggeration, meeting the cap and completely hiding her hair.
Another common piece of exaggeration is that about the "scarcity" of the chamois.
Like 'Sartor Resartus' it has much subjective coloring, which here results in exaggeration of characters and situations, and much fantasy and grotesqueness of expression; but as a dramatic and pictorial vilification of a great historic movement it was and remains unique, and on the whole no history is more brilliantly enlightening and profoundly instructive.