Definition -
(1) A figure of speech where emphasis is added by referring to a thing in very exagerated terms, e.g. "I've been waiting for eons."

(2) The ordering of words by increasing force. For example: "It's a well hit ball, it's a long drive, it might be, it could be, it IS … a home run." (Harry Carey)

Etymology -
The word means "increase" or "amplification" in Greek.

Oxford English Dictionary -
Its first citation in sense is from 1577:
"By this figure, auxesis, the orator doth make a low dwarf a tall fellow…of pebble stones, pearls; and of thistles, mighty oaks."
(H. Peacham Gard. Eloq. N. iiij (T.))

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