hi·​lar·​i·​ty | \ hi-ˈler-ə-tē How to pronounce hilarity (audio) , hī-\

Definition of hilarity

: boisterous merriment or laughter

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Examples of hilarity in a Sentence

My attempt to carve the turkey was a source of great hilarity at the dinner table. hilarity is the last thing you expect to find at a funeral, but we were there to celebrate his life rather than to dwell on his death

Recent Examples on the Web

Check your privilege, not to mention your taste and decorum, at the door before experiencing this rough and ready revisionist mythology of the Aztecs that merges bloody history with puerile hilarity. Karen D'souza, The Mercury News, "Review: Outrageous ‘Kiss My Aztec!’ premieres at Berkeley Rep," 8 June 2019 Well, of course my first introduction to you was your writing, which always caught the fashion mood and moment and wittily arrived at the nub of things, sometimes with hilarity, other times with generosity, and occasionally with despair. Emily Farra, Vogue, "Love Letters for Lynn Yaeger: The Industry Icon and CFDA Award Winner’s Friends and Colleagues on Her Style, Wit, and Influence," 30 May 2019 The audience is naturally convulsed in hilarity that’s interrupted only by paroxysms of sympathy for a protagonist who doesn’t understand why life is withholding from him the happy ending everyone else in his circle seems to be enjoying. Charles Mcnulty, latimes.com, "Say 'I do' to 'Significant Other,' the rare romantic comedy with depth to match the laughs," 13 Apr. 2018 Being a French girl in New York has its moments of hilarity. Mathilde Ollivier, Harper's BAZAAR, "Mathilde Ollivier is the Latest French Sensation in the U.S.," 8 May 2019 And with every red carpet, for those who follow the TV personality and style commentator extraordinaire Robert Verdi, comes the bout of hilarity that is his traditional red carpet comparisons. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Were These Oscars Looks Inspired By Loofahs, Paper Lanterns, And Other Home Decor?," 25 Feb. 2019 Meanwhile, my betrayer audience sat unmoved by the endless adorkable hilarity playing out in front of them. Aja Romano, Vox, "Gettin’ the Band Back Together is a giant musical comedy dad joke. To hate it is to hate joy.," 28 Aug. 2018 Lili Reinhart and Madelaine Petsch also got in on the birthday celebrations — with plenty of hilarity to spare. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Camila Mendes, Cole Sprouse, and More "Riverdale" Stars Celebrate Charles Melton's Birthday," 5 Jan. 2019 But place the supermodel/cookbook author/headband guru in the audience at any awards show, and a new level of hilarity ensues — thanks to her iconic facial expressions and animated reactions. Lynsey Eidell, Allure, "Chrissy Teigen's Epic Facial Expression Just Won the 2018 Emmy Awards," 17 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hilarity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hilarity

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near hilarity






Hilary term


Statistics for hilarity

Last Updated

15 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for hilarity

The first known use of hilarity was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for hilarity



English Language Learners Definition of hilarity

: noisy fun or laughter


hi·​lar·​i·​ty | \ hi-ˈler-ə-tē How to pronounce hilarity (audio) \

Kids Definition of hilarity

: noisy fun or laughter

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More from Merriam-Webster on hilarity

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hilarity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hilarity

Spanish Central: Translation of hilarity

Nglish: Translation of hilarity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hilarity for Arabic Speakers

Comments on hilarity

What made you want to look up hilarity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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