Definition of hysteric in English:



  • 1informal A wildly emotional and exaggerated reaction.

    ‘the child has been seized with regular fits of hysterics at bedtime’
    • ‘And you know intellects are most prone to emotional distress, as proven by your own hysterics.’
    • ‘Some ragas such as Darbari-kanhara, Khamaj and Pooriya are strongly recommended for defusing tension in mind, particularly in case of hysterics.’
    • ‘If I went to a crowded place I would go into hysterics because everyone's voices and emotions were pounding inside my skull.’
    • ‘Sadly for Burnside, such hysterics are less impressive when introduced by a diarist who lacks the wit to spell check her ‘murmour’ ed offerings.’
    • ‘It would simply be helpful if the neighbours could resign themselves to an approximately similar exercise, with fewer tantrums and hysterics.’
    • ‘Again: why should I take these hysterics seriously?’
    • ‘I'm prone to hysterics and don't think clearly.’
    • ‘She played a sullen nutcase prone to hysterics and evil giggles.’
    • ‘When frenzy and hysterics threaten, just keep telling yourself that smiling's a better facial aerobic than frowning.’
    • ‘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).’
    • ‘And the young actress doesn't rely on hysterics and overacting (as others might) to convey Maria's desperation.’
    • ‘Through it all, though, Utidjian is superb, capable of generating power not from volume or hysterics, but from the subtlest expression.’
    • ‘I admit unashamedly I'd like for this statement to be met with grand hysterics, someone to shriek out ‘DON'T DO IT!’’
    • ‘She got a second Oscar nod, as Best Supporting Actress, for her wildly funny hysterics in Allen's Husbands and Wives.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Peter's wink sent Jes right back into convulsions and minor hysterics.’
    • ‘But his mission is complicated by Louis' quirks and emotional hysterics.’
    • ‘Then, with the camera still rolling, there was general hysterics and the question ‘Does Derek win the twenty pounds?’’
    • ‘Lopez is completely inept when it comes to playing out the hysterics that this mellow-dramatic insipid thriller so often demands of her.’
    hysteria, wildness, feverishness, irrationality, frenzy, loss of control, loss of reason
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    1. 1.1Uncontrollable laughter.
      ‘this started them both giggling and they fled upstairs in hysterics’
      • ‘I was literally rolling on the floor in hysterics.’
      • ‘Perhaps the worst thing about this show was not the acts themselves, but the fact that the audience was in hysterics.’
      • ‘Like a woman loosing all sanity, I began to laugh in hysterics.’
      • ‘I'm in hysterics right now over the useful British phrases.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘GW's facial expressions had us in constant hysterics and the quote of the night had to have been calling the terrorists ‘haters’.’
      • ‘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!’
      • ‘DJ and Michael go into fits of hysterics, rolling around on the floor.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Kayla laughed in hysterics as her skates slid up under her and she landed on her bottom.’
      • ‘Marty and his gang had gone into hysterics at her slight tantrum.’
      • ‘The audience was in hysterics and applauding their heads off and I think they were on their feet, which was rare back then.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘For some reason, that put me and my friends Dan and Ali in hysterics.’
      • ‘But eventually it made it to Canada, where my teenaged friends and I would watch it in total hysterics after school.’
      • ‘Candace doubled up with laughter and lay on the floor in hysterics, still in control of the beam.’
      • ‘His emotions took hold and he burst into hysterics, warranting a quick response from the Takavaran commander.’
      • ‘Or maybe they're all quietly doubled up in hysterics behind me.’
      • ‘As we passed it around, reading aloud, we were 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.

    • ‘A lot of people accused him of being a hysteric, a hypochondriac, a man who exploited death, kind of a Cassandra.’
    • ‘By Christensen's era, religion gave way to science, and a new form of otherness evolved: the female hysteric.’
    • ‘Brother Egbert responded in the calm, patient tone of someone addressing a hysteric.’
    • ‘These are stagy comic types: the critic, the fop, and the hysteric.’
    • ‘Thank goodness there aren't any hysterics around here.’
    • ‘As a hysteric, she highlights the insights that psychoanalysis can offer - and its shortcomings - in understanding black female subjectivity.’
    • ‘For these reasons, she is an incurable 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.’
    • ‘Spontaneous outbursts, to his mind, are for fools, hysterics and chat show guests.’
    • ‘Who do these hysterics think they are persuading?’
    • ‘According to Renata Salecl, the male hysteric asks, ‘What kind of mask am I wearing… Am I a man or a woman?’’
    • ‘‘You do not have cancer,’ he said, as if counselling an hysteric.’
    • ‘While some German critics decry her as an eloquent hysteric, others praise her cold yet incisive observations of human lives and loves.’
    • ‘This goal is achieved in the film's narrative by transforming Billie Holiday into a hysteric.’
    • ‘But is this an essential and important difference between the hysteric and the artist?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As a hysteric, Beloved mimics dominant ideas about madness as well as orthodox definitions of gender and race.’
    • ‘Mabel, who could easily have been turned into a hysteric, is handled sympathetically.’


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


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), related to uterus.