Definition of hysteric in English:



  • 1informal A wildly emotional and exaggerated reaction.

    ‘the widow had hysterics and the inquest was wrapped up quickly’
    • ‘She played a sullen nutcase prone to hysterics and evil giggles.’
    • ‘Some ragas such as Darbari-kanhara, Khamaj and Pooriya are strongly recommended for defusing tension in mind, particularly in case of hysterics.’
    • ‘Again: why should I take these hysterics seriously?’
    • ‘Sadly for Burnside, such hysterics are less impressive when introduced by a diarist who lacks the wit to spell check her ‘murmour’ ed offerings.’
    • ‘Lopez is completely inept when it comes to playing out the hysterics that this mellow-dramatic insipid thriller so often demands of her.’
    • ‘But then I recalled our parking lot hysterics of this weekend and my angry words to him about how he can't be bothered to read my writing.’
    • ‘I admit unashamedly I'd like for this statement to be met with grand hysterics, someone to shriek out ‘DON'T DO IT!’’
    • ‘And you know intellects are most prone to emotional distress, as proven by your own hysterics.’
    • ‘Heck, we even had a great time at my brother's wedding - no hysterics or drama (well, there was behind the scenes, but more on that later).’
    • ‘But his mission is complicated by Louis' quirks and emotional hysterics.’
    • ‘I'm prone to hysterics and don't think clearly.’
    • ‘She got a second Oscar nod, as Best Supporting Actress, for her wildly funny hysterics in Allen's Husbands and Wives.’
    • ‘Then, with the camera still rolling, there was general hysterics and the question ‘Does Derek win the twenty pounds?’’
    • ‘When frenzy and hysterics threaten, just keep telling yourself that smiling's a better facial aerobic than frowning.’
    • ‘And the young actress doesn't rely on hysterics and overacting (as others might) to convey Maria's desperation.’
    • ‘Peter's wink sent Jes right back into convulsions and minor hysterics.’
    • ‘If I went to a crowded place I would go into hysterics because everyone's voices and emotions were pounding inside my skull.’
    • ‘Through it all, though, Utidjian is superb, capable of generating power not from volume or hysterics, but from the subtlest expression.’
    • ‘It would simply be helpful if the neighbours could resign themselves to an approximately similar exercise, with fewer tantrums and hysterics.’
    hysteria, wildness, feverishness, irrationality, frenzy, loss of control, loss of reason
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    1. 1.1Uncontrollable laughter.
      ‘they began to giggle and fled upstairs in hysterics’
      • ‘As we passed it around, reading aloud, we were in hysterics.’
      • ‘I was in hysterics of course, and as a joke I said the temperature the next day would probably be six degrees across the nation.’
      • ‘His emotions took hold and he burst into hysterics, warranting a quick response from the Takavaran commander.’
      • ‘GW's facial expressions had us in constant hysterics and the quote of the night had to have been calling the terrorists ‘haters’.’
      • ‘Like a woman loosing all sanity, I began to laugh in hysterics.’
      • ‘The audience was in hysterics and applauding their heads off and I think they were on their feet, which was rare back then.’
      • ‘Or maybe they're all quietly doubled up in hysterics behind me.’
      • ‘He was a real wind up merchant with a wicked sense of humour - he had everyone in hysterics and he will be very sadly missed.’
      • ‘Candace doubled up with laughter and lay on the floor in hysterics, still in control of the beam.’
      • ‘Perhaps the worst thing about this show was not the acts themselves, but the fact that the audience was in hysterics.’
      • ‘And then all the male guests returned to the stage, each of them bare-chested too, as the audience went into hysterics.’
      • ‘I was laughing in hysterics, yet utterly disgusted!’
      • ‘Ollie falls backwards in hysterics onto the bed and promptly falls off, stepping right onto his laptop which had been left open on the floor.’
      • ‘Marty and his gang had gone into hysterics at her slight tantrum.’
      • ‘Kayla laughed in hysterics as her skates slid up under her and she landed on her bottom.’
      • ‘But eventually it made it to Canada, where my teenaged friends and I would watch it in total hysterics after school.’
      • ‘I'm in hysterics right now over the useful British phrases.’
      • ‘I was literally rolling on the floor in hysterics.’
      • ‘DJ and Michael go into fits of hysterics, rolling around on the floor.’
      • ‘For some reason, that put me and my friends Dan and Ali in hysterics.’
      fits of laughter, gales of laughter, peals of laughter, uncontrollable laughter, convulsions, fits, guffawing, howling
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  • 2A person suffering from hysteria.

    • ‘‘You do not have cancer,’ he said, as if counselling an hysteric.’
    • ‘For these reasons, she is an incurable hysteric.’
    • ‘Brother Egbert responded in the calm, patient tone of someone addressing a hysteric.’
    • ‘As a hysteric, Beloved mimics dominant ideas about madness as well as orthodox definitions of gender and race.’
    • ‘The Dialogues concern a young noblewoman, Blanche de la Force, an hysteric afraid of just about everything.’
    • ‘A hysteric who seems paraplegic behaves as if he has forgotten that he has legs; he has lost the mental representation of a part of his body.’
    • ‘According to Renata Salecl, the male hysteric asks, ‘What kind of mask am I wearing… Am I a man or a woman?’’
    • ‘This goal is achieved in the film's narrative by transforming Billie Holiday into a hysteric.’
    • ‘By Christensen's era, religion gave way to science, and a new form of otherness evolved: the female hysteric.’
    • ‘But is this an essential and important difference between the hysteric and the artist?’
    • ‘Spontaneous outbursts, to his mind, are for fools, hysterics and chat show guests.’
    • ‘Mabel, who could easily have been turned into a hysteric, is handled sympathetically.’
    • ‘While some German critics decry her as an eloquent hysteric, others praise her cold yet incisive observations of human lives and loves.’
    • ‘Thank goodness there aren't any hysterics around here.’
    • ‘A lot of people accused him of being a hysteric, a hypochondriac, a man who exploited death, kind of a Cassandra.’
    • ‘Who do these hysterics think they are persuading?’
    • ‘These are stagy comic types: the critic, the fop, and the hysteric.’
    • ‘Going into that conversation I tended to view all the big pushers of regime change as warmongers, hysterics or trouble-makers.’
    • ‘Because hysteria has no organic causes, the hysteric imitates the lesions of other illnesses.’
    • ‘As a hysteric, she highlights the insights that psychoanalysis can offer - and its shortcomings - in understanding black female subjectivity.’


  • another term for hysterical
    • ‘He said with a sly grin as Emerald busted out into hysteric laughter.’
    • ‘He heard Sora's mocking, hysteric laughter in his ear.’
    • ‘Kal's eyes widened as he came to a pause before bursting into a series of hysteric laughter.’
    • ‘Amid the piercing screams and almost hysteric laughter Chris escaped to quietly phone his wife.’


Mid 17th century (as an adjective): via Latin from Greek husterikos of the womb, from hustera womb (hysteria being thought to be specific to women and associated with the womb).