- an uncontrollable outburst of emotion or fear, often characterized by irrationality, laughter, weeping, etc.
- Psychoanalysis. a psychoneurotic disorder characterized by violent emotional outbreaks, disturbances of sensory and motor functions, and various abnormal effects due to autosuggestion.
- Psychiatry. conversion disorder.
Origin of hysteria
Related Words for hysterianervousness, madness, agitation, excitement, frenzy, delirium, panic, mirth, hysterics, unreason
Examples from the Web for hysteria
Contemporary Examples of hysteria
At the time, before ISIS had conquered Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq, the attack evoked outrage but not hysteria.French Jihadi Mehdi Nemmouche Is the Shape of Terror to Come
September 9, 2014
But this time I can plainly hear, through the rush of words, the faint rattle of hysteria that bespeaks a screw loose somewhere.The Stacks: Grateful Dead I Have Known
August 30, 2014
There was no instruction, no direction—there was an overwhelming stampede and hysteria.I Survived a Deadly Shipwreck: Costa Concordia Passengers Tell Their Stories
Barbie Latza Nadeau
May 19, 2014
Even for Daniel Radcliffe, the rumor mill has reached Elevatorgate-levels of hysteria.Daniel Radcliffe Says No More ‘Harry Potter.’ (He’s Not Engaged, Either.)
May 16, 2014
I thought this was an appropriate observation and still do, despite the hysteria my saying so has ignited on the right.My Benghazi Scandal
May 15, 2014
Historical Examples of hysteria
By evening Mrs. Page had worked herself into a state bordering on hysteria.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
And she ran off, sobbing, into the little guignol, where she had an attack of hysteria.My Double Life
It is often also due to hysteria and consequently pathological.The Sexual Question
Mrs. Wilcox had been overtired by the shopping, and was inclined to hysteria.Howards End
E. M. Forster
In short, you think what I saw was merely the result of woman's hysteria?A Son of Hagar
Sir Hall Caine
- a mental disorder characterized by emotional outbursts, susceptibility to autosuggestion, and, often, symptoms such as paralysis that mimic the effects of physical disordersSee also conversion disorder
- any frenzied emotional state, esp of laughter or crying
Word Origin for hysteria
1801, coined in medical Latin as an abstract noun from hysteric (see hysterical).
- A psychiatric disorder characterized by the presentation of a physical ailment without an organic cause.
- Excessive or uncontrollable emotion, such as fear.