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hysteric

[hi-ster-ik] /hɪˈstɛr ɪk/
noun
1.
Usually, hysterics. a fit of uncontrollable laughter or weeping; hysteria.
2.
a person subject to hysteria.
adjective
Origin of hysteric
1650-1660
1650-60; < Latin hystericus < Greek hysterikós, suffering in the womb, hysterical (reflecting the Greeks' belief that hysteria was peculiar to women and caused by disturbances in the uterus); see hystero-, -ic
Related forms
antihysteric, noun, adjective
Can be confused
hysterics, histrionics.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for hysterics
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Gwethyn was almost in hysterics at the danger her pet had escaped.

  • Vice was like hysterics—the more kindness you showed the worse grew the patient!

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • Mistress Lettice in the great room went into hysterics for the fifth time that morning.

    Prisoners of Hope Mary Johnston
  • I didn't want any more faintin' spells or hysterics, either.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug Joseph C. Lincoln
  • A sudden fear struck her that Sybil was going into hysterics because Victoria's engagement recalled her own disappointment.

British Dictionary definitions for hysterics

hysterics

/hɪˈstɛrɪks/
noun (functioning as pl or singular)
1.
an attack of hysteria
2.
(informal) wild uncontrollable bursts of laughter

hysteric

/hɪˈstɛrɪk/
noun
1.
a hysterical person
adjective
2.
hysterical
See also hysterics
Word Origin
C17: from Latin hystericus literally: of the womb, from Greek husterikos, from hustera the womb; from the belief that hysteria in women originated in disorders of the womb
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 hysterics
n.

1727, from hysterical. Sometimes in 19c. jocularly folk-etymologized as high-strikes (1838).

hysteric

adj.

1650s, from Latin hystericus, from Greek hysterikos "belonging to the womb" (see hysterical). As a noun from 1751.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hysterics in Medicine

hysteric hys·ter·ic (hĭ-stěr'ĭk)
n.

  1. A person suffering from hysteria.

  2. hysterics A fit of uncontrollable laughing or crying.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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17
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