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[hi-lar-i-tee, -lair-, hahy-] /hɪˈlær ɪ ti, -ˈlɛər-, haɪ-/
cheerfulness; merriment; mirthfulness.
boisterous gaiety or merriment.
Origin of hilarity
1560-70; earlier hilaritie < Latin hilaritās, equivalent to hilari(s) (see hilarious) + -tās -ty2
Related forms
hyperhilarity, noun
2. See mirth. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for hilarity
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It is, at its very plainest, mingled of a regard for hilarity and a regard for helplessness.

    Alarms and Discursions G. K. Chesterton
  • She also stated that she did not think it a morning for hilarity, not at all!

    The Treasure Trail Marah Ellis Ryan
  • Grey laughed loudly, but there was no mirth in his hilarity.

    The Hound From The North Ridgwell Cullum
  • Suffice to say that it was violent effort, excitement, and hilarity.

    Tales of Fishes Zane Grey
  • His laugh came back to him, but there was no hilarity in it.

    Rope Holworthy Hall
British Dictionary definitions for hilarity


mirth and merriment; cheerfulness
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 hilarity

mid-15c., from Latin hilaritatem (nominative hilaritas) "cheerfulness, gaiety, merriment," from hilaris "cheerful, gay," from Greek hilaros "cheerful, gay, merry, joyous," related to hilaos "graceful, kindly." In ancient Rome, Hilaria (neuter plural of hilaris) were a class of holidays, times of pomp and rejoicing; there were public ones in honor of Cybele at the spring equinoxes as well as private ones on the day of a marriage or a son's birth.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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