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hysterical

[hi-ster-i-kuh l] /hɪˈstɛr ɪ kəl/
adjective
1.
of, relating to, or characterized by hysteria.
2.
uncontrollably emotional.
3.
irrational from fear, emotion, or an emotional shock.
4.
causing hysteria.
5.
suffering from or subject to hysteria.
6.
causing unrestrained laughter; very funny:
Oh, that joke is hysterical!
Origin of hysterical
1605-1615
1605-15; < Latin hysteric(us) hysteric + -al1
Related forms
hysterically, adverb
overhysterical, adjective
posthysterical, adjective
semihysterical, adjective
semihysterically, adverb
unhysterical, adjective
unhysterically, adverb
Can be confused
historic, historical, hysterical.
Synonyms
6. hilarious, uproarious, laughable, ludicrous.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for hysterically
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Mrs. Ellmother herself opened the door, and stood doubtful on the threshold, hysterically sobbing and laughing at the same time.

    I Say No Wilkie Collins
  • He was blubbering in her arms, hysterically, as she caressed him.

    The Adventurer Cyril M. Kornbluth
  • Her dyed head went down in her hands, and she began to sob—unrestrainedly, hysterically, in an abandonment of wretchedness.

    The Quaint Companions Leonard Merrick
  • "You come between me and my prayers" she said hysterically, and began to sob.

    The Miraculous Revenge Bernard Shaw
  • He told it somewhat strangely and hysterically, and indeed he was ill.

    The Possessed Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • She began to laugh—not hysterically, but it was not a natural laugh.

    A Young Man in a Hurry Robert W. Chambers
British Dictionary definitions for hysterically

hysterical

/hɪˈstɛrɪkəl/
adjective
1.
of or suggesting hysteria: hysterical cries
2.
suffering from hysteria
3.
(informal) wildly funny
Derived Forms
hysterically, adverb
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 hysterically

hysterical

adj.

1610s, from Latin hystericus "of the womb," from Greek hysterikos "of the womb, suffering in the womb," from hystera "womb" (see uterus). Originally defined as a neurotic condition peculiar to women and thought to be caused by a dysfunction of the uterus. Meaning "very funny" (by 1939) is from the notion of uncontrollable fits of laughter. Related: Hysterically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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