One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Exaggerated or uncontrollable emotion or excitement.‘the anti-Semitic hysteria of the 1890s’
frenzy, wildness, feverishness, irrationalityView synonyms
- ‘Plus it played on a big fear of mine for the end of the first third, namely mob rule and mass hysteria.’
- ‘Am I remorseful that it got out of hand and escalated into mass hysteria?’
- ‘Another expert suggested that the resulting chaos of an attack would be worsened by mass hysteria.’
- ‘The medicated result is a toxic level of mass hysteria for the patient, or in this case, the news subscriber.’
- ‘This invoked a further outbreak of mass hysteria amongst the fleet.’
- ‘The whole history of the US, indeed, is punctuated with scares, crazes and occasional mass hysteria.’
- ‘Perhaps it is too hot, or Madrilenos are just no good at building up mass hysteria.’
- ‘If aliens were found, would it not be kept quiet due to the potential mass hysteria?’
- ‘The media is trying to develop mass hysteria to support the war drive.’
- ‘When Diana died, the country was in a state of something close to mass hysteria.’
- ‘Several researchers have noted that episodes of mass hysteria are probably far more common than we currently think.’
- ‘The mass hysteria by the zealots does not bode well for India or Hinduism.’
- ‘Did you never wonder what these sudden waves of mass hysteria were about?’
- ‘I have a tendency to put these things in the class of mass hysteria.’
- ‘Many people thought they knew the end of the world was nigh, but were lying to prevent mass hysteria.’
- ‘Tautou also does enough to suggest that beneath her happiness lies hysteria and an emotional volatility.’
- ‘Various people are drunk or act strangely or approach mini entertaining hysterias - like whirlpools in cups of tea they pass quickly.’
- ‘The mass hysteria that it created, however, particularly at the funeral, worried me immensely.’
- ‘Whenever two people from the same side of politics differ there's mass hysteria.’
- ‘The world cannot tolerate these old claims, most times based on sheer hysteria and emotion.’
2An old-fashioned term for a psychological disorder characterized by conversion of psychological stress into physical symptoms (somatization) or a change in self-awareness (such as a fugue state or selective amnesia).
- ‘They never talk about a disorder called hysteria, they talk about the womb wandering.’
- ‘Great to have your company today, where we're looking at contemporary cases of hysteria.’
- ‘Freud learned from Charcot that, in order to understand hysteria, he had to look to psychology rather than to neurology.’
- ‘Shock often manifests itself as conversion hysteria, where the mind causes the body to be incapacitated.’
- ‘When these types break down they tend to develop either hysteria or mania.’
Early 19th century: from Latin hystericus (see hysteric).
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