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[hi-ster-ik] /hɪˈstɛr ɪk/
Usually, hysterics. a fit of uncontrollable laughter or weeping; hysteria.
a person subject to hysteria.
Origin of hysteric
1650-60; < Latin hystericus < Greek hysterikós, suffering in the womb, hysterical (reflecting the Greeks' belief that hysteria was peculiar to women and caused by disturbances in the uterus); see hystero-, -ic
Related forms
antihysteric, noun, adjective
Can be confused
hysterics, histrionics. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for hysteric
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • More than once the choice was precipitately abandoned at the last moment and another card snatched at hysteric haphazard.

    The Storm Centre Charles Egbert Craddock
  • In hysteric inversions of motion is some other part too much stimulated?

    Zoonomia, Vol. II Erasmus Darwin
  • Gertrude bending over me in hysteric screams—so they told me afterwards.

    Shoulder-Straps Henry Morford
  • Miss Corelli's force is hysteric, but it is sometimes very real.

    My Contemporaries In Fiction David Christie Murray
  • She ended by a great fit of hysteric weeping that lasted half the night.

    Cleo The Magnificent Louis Zangwill
  • "Git down there, you hysteric son of a gun," he said to the horse.

    Rimrock Trail J. Allan Dunn
  • He still sat facing the bewildered lawyer, one moment sobbing convulsively, the next yelping with hysteric laughter.

    John Thorndyke's Cases R. Austin Freeman
  • It was succeeded by a quick, hysteric laugh, and then a dead silence.

British Dictionary definitions for hysteric


a hysterical person
See also hysterics
Word Origin
C17: from Latin hystericus literally: of the womb, from Greek husterikos, from hustera the womb; from the belief that hysteria in women originated in disorders of the womb
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 hysteric

1650s, from Latin hystericus, from Greek hysterikos "belonging to the womb" (see hysterical). As a noun from 1751.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hysteric in Medicine

hysteric hys·ter·ic (hĭ-stěr'ĭk)

  1. A person suffering from hysteria.

  2. hysterics A fit of uncontrollable laughing or crying.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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