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[hi-lair-ee-uh s, -lar-, hahy-] /hɪˈlɛər i əs, -ˈlær-, haɪ-/
arousing great merriment; extremely funny:
a hilarious story; a hilarious old movie.
boisterously merry or cheerful:
a hilarious celebration.
merry; cheerful.
Origin of hilarious
1815-25; < Latin hilar(is), hilar(us) cheerful (< Greek hilarós) + -ious
Related forms
hilariously, adverb
hilariousness, noun
hyperhilarious, adjective
hyperhilariously, adverb
hyperhilariousness, noun
unhilarious, adjective
unhilariously, adverb
unhilariousness, noun
2. lively, jolly, rollicking, high-spirited.
2. sad, serious, solemn. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for hilarious
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But the expression on his face was hilarious compared with the one on his pony's.

    Sixes and Sevens O. Henry
  • He in turn gives way to the hilarious buffoonery of the two slaves.

    The Dramatic Values in Plautus Wilton Wallace Blancke
  • It was a steamboat excursion; drinking and dancing were freely indulged in by the hilarious passengers.

    Is the Devil a Myth? C. F. Wimberly
  • The old lady began to seem to him a thought too discursive, if not hilarious.

    Tiverton Tales Alice Brown
  • In many of them men stood drinking, but in a sociable rather than a hilarious mood.

    The Riverman Stewart Edward White
British Dictionary definitions for hilarious


very funny or merry
Derived Forms
hilariously, adverb
hilariousness, noun
Word Origin
C19: from Latin hilaris glad, from Greek hilaros
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hilarious

1823, "cheerful," from Latin hilaris "cheerful, of good cheer" (see hilarity) + -ous. Meaning "boisterously joyful" is from 1830s. Related: Hilariously.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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