[ 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

an·ti·hys·ter·ic, noun, adjective

Can be confused

hysterics histrionics
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hysteric

British Dictionary definitions for hysteric


/ (hɪˈstɛrɪk) /


a hysterical person


See also hysterics

Word Origin for hysteric

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

Medicine definitions for hysteric


[ hĭ-stĕrĭk ]


A person suffering from hysteria.
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.