Dictionary.com

hysteria

[ hi-ster-ee-uh, -steer- ]
/ hɪˈstɛr i ə, -ˈstɪər- /
Save This Word!

noun
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.
QUIZ
TEST YOUR MERIT ON THESE NEW WORDS IN 2021
The Dictionary added new words and definition to our vast collection, and we want to see how well-versed you are in the formally recognized new lingo. Take the quiz!
Question 1 of 8
What does JEDI stand for?
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help
Compare mass hysteria.

Origin of hysteria

First recorded in 1795–1805; hyster(ic) + -ia

OTHER WORDS FROM hysteria

sub·hys·te·ri·a, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use hysteria in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for hysteria

hysteria
/ (hɪˈstɪərɪə) /

noun
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

C19: from New Latin, from Latin hystericus hysteric
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

Medical definitions for hysteria

hysteria
[ hĭ-stĕrē-ə, -stîr- ]

n.
A psychiatric disorder characterized by the presentation of a physical ailment without an organic cause.
Excessive or uncontrollable emotion, such as fear.

Other words from hysteria

hys•teric (hĭ-stĕrĭk) null adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Cultural definitions for hysteria

hysteria

A complex neurosis in which psychological conflict is turned into physical symptoms, such as amnesia, blindness, and paralysis, that have no underlying physical cause. Early in his career, Sigmund Freud worked on hysteria.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
FEEDBACK