[hi-lar-i-tee, -lair-, hahy-]


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 formshy·per·hi·lar·i·ty, noun

Synonyms for hilarity

2. See mirth.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hilarity

Contemporary Examples of hilarity

Historical Examples of hilarity

  • 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.

  • Suffice to say that it was violent effort, excitement, and hilarity.

  • His laugh came back to him, but there was no hilarity in it.


    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

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