from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Excessive publicity and the ensuing commotion: the hype surrounding the murder trial.
  • n. Exaggerated or extravagant claims made especially in advertising or promotional material: "It is pure hype, a gigantic PR job” ( Saturday Review).
  • n. An advertising or promotional ploy: "Some restaurant owners in town are cooking up a $75,000 hype to promote New York as 'Restaurant City, U.S.A.'” ( New York).
  • n. Something deliberately misleading; a deception: "[He] says that there isn't any energy crisis at all, that it's all a hype, to maintain outrageous profits for the oil companies” ( Joel Oppenheimer).
  • transitive v. To publicize or promote, especially by extravagant, inflated, or misleading claims: hyped the new book by sending its author on a promotional tour.
  • n. A hypodermic injection, syringe, or needle.
  • n. A drug addict.
  • transitive v. To stimulate with or as if with a hypodermic injection: "hyped the country up to a purposeless pitch” ( Newsweek).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Promotion or propaganda; especially, exaggerated claims.
  • v. To promote heavily; to advertise or build up.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • See hipe.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. publicize in an exaggerated and often misleading manner
  • n. blatant or sensational promotion


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Partly from hype, a swindle (perhaps from hyper-) and partly from hype(rbole).
Shortening and alteration of hypodermic.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From hyperbole.



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  • Well, I don't know if they were dull or not, but it is interesting that one should be hopped up on hops and hyped up by hypodermic needles.

    I think I will stick with coffee. That does the trick for me.

    July 10, 2007

  • Wow, it's interesting how our words to describe excitement are rooted in describing mental illness and drug activity. Our ancestors must have been awfully dull, I guess.

    July 10, 2007

  • The etymology of hype is more complex than I had guessed. In addition to being short for hyperbole, it is influenced by drug user's slang, short for hypodermic needle, and also by the sense of a hyper or con man. It was not until the 1960s that it came to be used as a term for excessive advertising.

    July 10, 2007

  • I'm just trying to hype the word hype.

    January 21, 2007