Definition of hilarious in US English:



  • 1Extremely amusing.

    ‘a hilarious dialogue from characters we never meet again’
    • ‘Write an extremely best selling novel about my hilarious life in poverty and sell the TV and Film rights.’
    • ‘It was here that the dialogue reached hilarious, and this troupe had a knack for that level of funny.’
    • ‘Some of the humorous incidents described in the book are incisively hilarious.’
    • ‘Another hilarious aspect to the film is how, on a certain level, it takes itself so very seriously.’
    • ‘It's a hilarious film full of gems of comic absurdity that are mixed in with nonchalant understatement.’
    • ‘The Web site also contains hilarious photos, humorous comics and cartoon strips.’
    • ‘When the first play comes to its hilarious, farcical close the audience is left gasping for air.’
    • ‘Now one half of this comic couple will bring his hilarious show to the Hawk's Well Theatre.’
    • ‘The nun's attempts to flee from the convent supposedly create hilarious situations.’
    • ‘I am now in the hilarious position of being an embarrassment to all concerned.’
    • ‘His hilarious five-minute soliloquy about his complex wedding arrangements was fabulous.’
    • ‘The ensuing altercations and hilarious testimonies provided an exciting two hours!’
    • ‘They thought that was hilarious, and linked arms, shaking with mirth like hysterical Siamese twins.’
    • ‘She views most of the press hysteria surrounding her, for example, as hilarious.’
    • ‘There are no signposts and definitely no laughter tracks, but the dialogue is bone dry and the script hilarious.’
    • ‘The hilarious production is based on the works of Harvard mathematician and songwriter, Tom Lehrer.’
    • ‘While getting this message across, the audience is treated to hilarious scenes.’
    • ‘For comic effect it has a character whose supposedly hilarious weakness is to use phrases that have gone out of fashion.’
    • ‘Coming up later today, more from this hilarious, revealing and essential article.’
    • ‘I think you will enjoy his anecdotes and retelling of some of the hilarious scenes he wrote for those two most loved of funny men.’
    very funny, extremely amusing, hysterically funny, hysterical, uproarious, riotous, farcical, side-splitting, rib-tickling, too funny for words
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    1. 1.1archaic Boisterously merry.
      ‘an old man was in hilarious conversation with three young men’
      • ‘Rachel from north London recalls an hilarious conversation with Sir Ian Blair.’
      amusing, entertaining, animated, high-spirited, lively, funny, witty, droll, merry, jolly, jovial, jocular, mirthful, cheerful, vivacious, sparkling, uproarious, boisterous, noisy, rowdy
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Early 19th century: from Latin hilaris (from Greek hilaros ‘cheerful’) + -ous. The sense ‘exceedingly amusing’ dates from the 1920s.