hysterical

adjective
hys·​ter·​i·​cal | \ hi-ˈster-i-kəl How to pronounce hysterical (audio) \

Definition of hysterical

1 : of, relating to, or marked by hysteria hysterical conditions
2 : feeling or showing extreme and unrestrained emotion hysterical fans … the paper did not hesitate to appeal to racial passions in hysterical headlines and rabid editorials.The New Yorker
3 informal : very funny a hysterical movie/joke

Other Words from hysterical

hysterically \ hi-​ˈster-​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce hysterical (audio) \ adverb

Examples of hysterical in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And Paddington 2 is such a great example of a perfect, emotional, and hysterical film for us. Mia Galuppo, The Hollywood Reporter, 22 Apr. 2022 The Australian news media might as well be an arm of the public-health bureaucracy, producing stilted and hysterical reports about lockdown violators worthy of some dystopian future. Rich Lowry, National Review, 8 Sep. 2021 Many tweets involve congratulatory messages alongside gifs and videos of hysterical crying. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, 17 Jan. 2022 Satirizing the Cold War this aggressively way back in 1964, Kubrick rewrote the textbook for political comedy and presented viewers with an instant classic that was both hysterical and terrifying. Brian Tallerico, Vulture, 16 Jan. 2021 There was a kind of hysterical intensity among our political class in those days, on all sides. Peggy Noonan, WSJ, 31 Mar. 2022 Like, the idea that this is the worst of his concerns right now is hysterical — the state cannot function in freezing temperatures. Stephen Daw, Billboard, 25 Mar. 2022 For instance, people can easily refute hysterical accusations that parents and health care providers are allowing trans children to permanently change their bodies with surgery. Claire Mccully, CNN, 15 Mar. 2022 That’s the question posed by director Jane Campion in this hysterical gay western. Los Angeles Times, 13 Mar. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of hysterical

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About hysterical

Time Traveler for hysterical

Time Traveler

The first known use of hysterical was in 1603

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near hysterical

hysteric

hysterical

hystericky

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for hysterical

Last Updated

3 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Hysterical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hysterical. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for hysterical

hysterical

adjective
hys·​ter·​i·​cal | \ hi-ˈster-i-kəl \

Kids Definition of hysterical

1 : feeling or showing extreme and uncontrolled emotion hysterical laughter … the sight of blood really makes him hysterical.— Jack Gantos, Joey Pigza Loses Control
2 : very funny Your joke was hysterical.

Other Words from hysterical

hysterically adverb laugh hysterically

hysterical

adjective
hys·​ter·​i·​cal | \ -ˈter-i-kəl How to pronounce hysterical (audio) \
variants: also hysteric \ -​ˈter-​ik How to pronounce hysterical (audio) \

Medical Definition of hysterical

: of, relating to, or marked by hysteria during hysterical conditions various functions of the human body are disordered— Morris Fishbein

Other Words from hysterical

hysterically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce hysterical (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on hysterical

Nglish: Translation of hysterical for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hysterical for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!