Exaggeration Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old exaggeration quotes, exaggeration sayings, and exaggeration proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.


That's how it is with legends. The greater they sound, the more must've got left out.     

Tim Tharp

There are some people so addicted to exaggeration that they can't tell the truth without lying.     

Josh Billings

Never exaggerate. It is a matter of great importance to forego superlatives, in part to avoid offending the truth, and in part to avoid cheapening your judgment. Exaggeration wastes distinction and testifies to the paucity of your understanding and taste.     

Baltasar Gracian

Some so speak in exaggerations and superlatives, that we need to make a large discount from their statements, before we can come at their real meaning.     

Tryon Edwards

Unless you embellish, you can't tell the truth.     

Marty Rubin

Exaggeration is a standard peculiarity of man. To deprecate is often a form of exaggeration which people do not notice, because it appears to be its opposite.     

Idries Shah

Exaggeration, the inseparable companion of greatness.     

Voltaire

Exaggeration is lying. It does not take long for the people in the community to get the habit of discounting twenty-five percent of all you say. If you continually overstate and vociferate you must keep on getting louder, until you soon become incoherent.     

Frank Crane

Eschew the monumental. Shun the Epic. All the guys who can paint great big pictures can paint great small ones.     

Ernest Hemingway

It is the essence of truth that it is never excessive.... We must not resort to the flame where only light is required.     

Victor Hugo

Every exaggeration of the truth once detected by others destroys our credibility and makes all that we do and say suspect.     

Stephen Covey

If you add to the truth, you subtract from it.     

The Talmud

But exaggeration establishes no good understanding between the reader and the author. It is a solemn appeal to our credulity, and we are right to resent it. It is the violence of a weakling hand—the worst manner of violence.     

Alice Meynell

I don't exaggerate—I just remember big.     

Chi Chi Rodriguez

Sometimes in life we blow things out of proportion because proportion is so dull.     

Robert Brault

If you use the term 'over-exaggerate,' you know the definition neither of 'exaggerate' nor of 'over.'     

Rodney Ulyate

To exaggerate is to weaken.     

Jean François de La Harpe

Exaggeration is a branch of lying.     

Baltasar Gracian

Exaggeration is truth that has lost its temper.     

Khalil Gibran

It is always the novice who exaggerates.     

C.S. Lewis

Exaggeration is the melodramatic child of truth.     

Khang Kijarro Nguyen

Exaggeration is in the course of things. Nature sends no creature, no man into the world, without adding a small excess of his proper quality. Given the planet, it is still necessary to add the impulse; so, to every creature nature added a little violence of direction in its proper path, a shove to put it on its way; in every instance, a slight generosity, a drop too much.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Exaggeration! was ever any virtue attributed to a man without exaggeration? was ever any vice, without infinite exaggeration? Do we not exaggerate ourselves to ourselves, or do we recognize ourselves for the actual men we are? Are we not all great men? Yet what are we actually, to speak of? We live by exaggeration.     

Henry David Thoreau

I know exaggerators of both kinds: people whose lies are only picturesque adjectives, and people whose picturesque adjectives are only lies.     

Katherine Fullerton Gerould

An element of exaggeration clings to the popular judgment: great vices are made greater, great virtues greater also; interesting incidents are made more interesting, softer legends more soft.     

Walter Bagehot

All the exaggerations are right, if they exaggerate the right thing.     

G.K. Chesterton

Exaggeration is the cheapest form of humor.     

Barbara Mertz

Exaggeration is a blood relation to falsehood, and nearly as blamable.     

Hosea Ballou

He who cannot exaggerate is not qualified to utter truth.     

Henry David Thoreau

The temptation to vivify the tale and make it walk abroad on its own legs is hard to deny.     

Gelett Burgess

Exaggeration in every sense is as essential to newspaper writing as it is to the writing of plays: for the point is to make as much as possible of every occurrence.     

Arthur Schopenhauer

All passions exaggerate; and they are passions only because they do exaggerate.      

Nicolas Chamfort

You always get exaggerated notions about things you don't know anything about.     

Albert Camus

Thought is a process of exaggeration. The refusal to exaggerate is not infrequently an alibi for the disinclination to think or praise.     

Eric Hoffer

Stop telling such outlandish tales. Stop turning minnows into whales.     

Dr. Seuss

We exaggerate misfortune and happiness alike. We are never as bad off or as happy as we say we are.     

Honoré de Balzac

Examples of exaggeration can be found in almost any advertising medium. The use of the superlative is altogether too prevalent. 'The finest,' 'the best,' 'the greatest,' 'the purest,' 'the most economical,' and so on ad infinitum, are hurled at the public everywhere. Surely not all products of the same class can be the best or the finest.     

Daniel Starch

He's the type who makes mountains out of molehills and then sells climbing equipment.     

Ivern Ball

Don't, Sir, accustom yourself to use big words for little matters.     

Samuel Johnson

People add color to their story because they think it happened in black and white.     

Tawny Lara

There is no one who does not exaggerate. In conversation, men are encumbered with personality, and talk too much.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Men of great conversational powers almost universally practise a sort of lively sophistry and exaggeration which deceives for the moment both themselves and their auditors.     

Thomas Babington Macaulay

By speaking, by thinking, we undertake to clarify things, and that forces us to exacerbate them, dislocate them, schematize them. Every concept is in itself an exaggeration.     

José Ortega y Gasset

Exaggeration misleads the credulous and offends the perceptive.     

Eliza Cook

Exaggeration is a prodigality of the judgment which shows the narrowness of one's knowledge or one's taste.     

Baltasar Gracian

Danger lies in the writer becoming the victim of his own exaggeration, losing the exact notion of sincerity, and in the end coming to despise truth itself as something too cold, too blunt for his purpose—as, in fact, not good enough for his insistent emotion. From laughter and tears the descent is easy to sniveling and giggles.     

Joseph Conrad

When we exaggerate the tenderness of our friends towards us, it is often less from gratitude than from a desire to exhibit our own merit.     

François de la Rochefoucauld

People exaggerate the value of things they haven't got: everybody worships truth and unselfishness because they have no experience with them.     

George Bernard Shaw

We aim above the mark, to hit the mark. Every act hath some falsehood of exaggeration in it.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Never believe extraordinary characters which you hear of people. Depend upon it, they are exaggerated. You do not see one man shoot a great deal higher than another.     

Samuel Johnson

Poets and writers who are in love with the superlative all want to do more than they can.     

Friedrich Nietzsche

I was always conscious of that weak point of mine, and sometimes very much afraid of it. I exaggerate everything, that is where I go wrong.     

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

'Tis a rule of manners to avoid exaggeration.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Adding more bull to bull yields bigger bull.     

Cathy Burnham Martin

Like I said, all comedy is based on exaggeration, big or small, whatever you can get away with.     

Drew Carey

Nothing makes a fish bigger than almost being caught.     

Unknown

Exaggeration is to paint a snake and add legs.     

Proverb

Man is inclined to exaggerate almost everything — except his own mistakes.      

Unknown