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[hi-lair-ee-uh s, -lar-, hahy-] /hɪˈlɛər i əs, -ˈlær-, haɪ-/
arousing great merriment; extremely funny:
a hilarious story; a hilarious old movie.
boisterously merry or cheerful:
a hilarious celebration.
merry; cheerful.
Origin of hilarious
1815-25; < Latin hilar(is), hilar(us) cheerful (< Greek hilarós) + -ious
Related forms
hilariously, adverb
hilariousness, noun
hyperhilarious, adjective
hyperhilariously, adverb
hyperhilariousness, noun
unhilarious, adjective
unhilariously, adverb
unhilariousness, noun
2. lively, jolly, rollicking, high-spirited.
2. sad, serious, solemn. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for hilarious
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He in turn gives way to the hilarious buffoonery of the two slaves.

    The Dramatic Values in Plautus Wilton Wallace Blancke
  • The old lady began to seem to him a thought too discursive, if not hilarious.

    Tiverton Tales Alice Brown
  • All Doctor Eben's friends were hilarious; and the greater part of Hetty's were gloomy.

  • The moderator had some difficulty in restoring order to the hilarious meeting.

    Cy Whittaker's Place Joseph C. Lincoln
  • All were hugely amused, but one, Mr. Pulcifer, was hilarious.

    Galusha the Magnificent Joseph C. Lincoln
British Dictionary definitions for hilarious


very funny or merry
Derived Forms
hilariously, adverb
hilariousness, noun
Word Origin
C19: from Latin hilaris glad, from Greek hilaros
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hilarious

1823, "cheerful," from Latin hilaris "cheerful, of good cheer" (see hilarity) + -ous. Meaning "boisterously joyful" is from 1830s. Related: Hilariously.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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