Definition of hysterically in US English:



  • 1With wildly uncontrolled emotion.

    ‘I started laughing hysterically’
    ‘my mother was crying hysterically’
    • ‘Danny was weeping hysterically.’
    • ‘Turning round, I saw another of my neighbours bent over and giggling hysterically.’
    • ‘I tried to leave the room, and shrieked hysterically when either of them attempted to touch my face.’
    • ‘One night, they hear the teacher laughing hysterically.’
    • ‘I could hear Chris yelling hysterically in the background.’
    • ‘Many people have reacted hysterically to the idea of further cuts.’
    • ‘I got out of bed, sobbing hysterically.’
    • ‘I could hear an officer shouting hysterically in a loudspeaker.’
    • ‘Governments will want to ensure that the public does not behave hysterically.’
    • ‘He did not notice the little kid that ran out of the back crying and screaming hysterically.’
    1. 1.1informal as submodifier Used to emphasize how funny something is.
      ‘a hysterically funny show’
      ‘your website is hysterically amusing’
      • ‘The gags, if thin on the ground, are hysterically funny.’
      • ‘He's got no problem devoting entire sequences of his film, including the hysterically inappropriate and silly ending, to music montages played out over entire songs.’
      • ‘She does a hysterically great job as the doting wife.’
      • ‘There are highlights in the film, including the hysterically funny mad genius director.’
      • ‘Her character is hysterically funny.’
      • ‘It was such a bad joke that it was hysterically funny.’
      • ‘People were watching something that was absolutely mischievous and silly and wonderfully dumb, but hysterically funny.’
      • ‘I was actually watching the start of one of the most hysterically goofy horror movies ever captured on celluloid.’
      • ‘The wealthy and sadistic landowner is a caricature, complete with a clipped upper-class accent and hysterically pompous manner.’
      • ‘His cheesy dramatic delivery is both moving and hysterically entertaining.’