Definition of hysterical in English:



  • 1Affected by or deriving from wildly uncontrolled emotion.

    ‘Janet became hysterical and began screaming’
    ‘the band were mobbed by hysterical fans’
    • ‘And as he watched her in confusion, Shelley's chuckle turned into an uncontrollable, hysterical fit of laughter.’
    • ‘Then a wild, almost hysterical gale of laughter burst from her.’
    • ‘Then the corners of her mouth began to curl upward, and a moment later, hysterical laughter was bubbling from her chest.’
    • ‘Touched by his affection and feeling overly emotional, I become hysterical.’
    • ‘He became emotional and hysterical, as he sometimes does.’
    • ‘Approach this end room and the first thing noticed will be the hysterical, uncontrollable laughter.’
    • ‘Recently, hysterical fans of the Taiwanese boys' band, F4, caused a great sensation in Shanghai.’
    • ‘But the mirth is fleeting and the hysterical laughter, I suspect, is triggered more by nervous tension than by a wicked sense of humour.’
    • ‘But no sooner had the match gone into the second period than the moans were replaced by smiles and later by hysterical laughter.’
    • ‘‘Hi everyone, this is Budi,’ she announced, making a real effort not to trip and break out into hysterical laughter.’
    • ‘But then I read the whole thing through and I just sat there for ten minutes in hysterical laughter - he had pulled it off!’
    • ‘There was no need to act like some hysterical, emotional nutcase.’
    • ‘In the back of her mind, a bubble of hysterical laughter began to grow.’
    • ‘She wasn't emotionally disabled or hysterical but in these day she used to cry almost all the time.’
    • ‘Wyman concedes it's rare, nowadays, for new bands to be greeted by hysterical fans at the airport, the way the Stones were in the '60s.’
    • ‘My sobs were uncontrollable, hysterical almost.’
    • ‘My soft chuckles soon turned into uncontrollable and hysterical laughing.’
    • ‘The young woman had crying fits, which were interspersed with screams and bursts of hysterical laughter.’
    • ‘Both are seen as nervous, emotional, almost hysterical men.’
    • ‘For others, the word joy did just what was it was told, making the victim hysterical and pretty much uncontrollably giddy.’
    overwrought, emotional, uncontrolled, uncontrollable, out of control, unrestrained, unrestrainable, frenzied, in a frenzy, frantic, wild, feverish
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    1. 1.1informal Extremely funny.
      ‘her attempts to teach them to dance were hysterical’
      • ‘Some people find it side-splittingly hysterical; I didn't, but I did find it to be entertainingly funny.’
      • ‘Extreme gore and hysterical pratfalls all combine in a truly memorable mix.’
      • ‘Start off with a funny thing that happened to you that day or something hysterical you just saw on TV.’
      • ‘Filled with his patented dry wit and funny observations, this track often borders on hysterical.’
      • ‘I knew this shouldn't have been funny, but right then I found it hysterical.’
      • ‘For the show, a group of puppeteers steps in and performs these calls with some very funny looking puppets on hysterical sets.’
      • ‘More of their side-splitting, hysterical brand of humour which at times threatened to bring the house down.’
      • ‘As a hysterical parody, my bears comically evoke the carnivalesque.’
      • ‘How did this role come to you, this very funny, hysterical gun moll role?’
      • ‘She was extremely ticklish and it was absolutely hysterical watching her freak out.’
      hilarious, uproarious, very funny, very amusing, comical, comic, farcical
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  • 2Relating to or suffering from hysteria.

    • ‘Furthermore, Freud placed the emphasis on the psychological mechanism of hysterical symptom formation.’
    • ‘Such a figure is literally and etymologically hysterical, as it is excessively feminized; it is also psychoanalytically hysterical.’
    • ‘Jiang doesn't soften his depiction of the chaotic, hysterical wartime mentality, when anything can happen, and the worst thing probably will.’
    • ‘The last thing you want is a hysterical claustrophobe, suffering from a panic attack!’
    • ‘Although Halle is not around to encounter Beloved, he too suffers trauma and exhibits hysterical symptoms.’
    • ‘Su-mi's mental state might be described as hysterical.’
    • ‘Others took the view that Plath was a hysterical self-dramatist, possibly psychopathic, and vastly overrated as a poet.’
    • ‘Convinced that Clay was suffering hysterical panic, the New York boxing writers urged the local commissioners to call off the fight.’
    • ‘It was as if he was trying to pacify a hysterical mental patient.’
    • ‘This is the language of hysterical, demented brainwashing.’
    • ‘So I may be a cynical, hysterical, psychotic, twisted masochist.’
    • ‘Karon and Widener then described what they identified as a typical combat hysterical neurosis.’
    • ‘He thought I was in the midst of an hysterical fit, or that I had perhaps gone insane.’