VIDEO FOR HYSTERICAL
What Is The Difference Between "Hysterical" And "Hilarious"?
The other day, I heard "hysterical" used as an insult ... how does this funny word also act as an insult, particularly to women?
OTHER WORDS FROM hysterical
Words nearby hysterical
ABOUT THIS WORD
More context on hysterical
In everyday usage, hysterical means “uncontrollably emotional.”
But guess who usually gets marked with that label? Women. What’s more, hysterical comes from the Greek word for “womb.” It was once thought that hysteria was a condition that only affected women—and was caused by disturbances in the uterus.
Given the sexism associated with this word, hysterical isn’t exactly a laughing matter.
If knowing the history of hysterical has got you reflecting on your word choices, this slideshow, “These Common Words Have Offensive Histories,” discusses many other words whose place in your vocab you may want to reconsider.
Keep in mind …
Informally, hysterical is also often used to refer to something “extremely funny.” Here are some other synonyms you can try:
Looking for more synonyms for funny? We’ve got loads more at Thesaurus.com.
How to use hysterical in a sentence
The historical—and hysterical—idea that women’s excessive emotions have profound influences on their bodies, and vice versa, is impressed like a photographic negative beneath today’s image of the attention-seeking, hypochondriac female patient.Medical Myths About Gender Roles Go Back to Ancient Greece. Women Are Still Paying the Price Today|Elinor Cleghorn|June 17, 2021|Time
Cook could not be sure whether Lecointe’s paralysis indicated a terminal stage of scurvy or a hysterical reaction.The Antarctic Expedition That Changed Modern Medicine|Julian Sancton|May 12, 2021|Time
Those comics hew toward rather sexist tropes about the hysterical woman.
I remembered my mother, who’d spent so much time in mental hospitals, psychiatric wards, her whole life cycling between being overmedicated, under-medicated, ignored, treated like a hysterical woman who couldn’t care for herself.I Avoided Facing My Mental Illness for Decades. The Pandemic Changed That|Jaquira Díaz|March 3, 2021|Time
So, because nothing was happening, it prompted me to examine how we got to this frozen state, where everyone is hysterical, but actually nothing was happening.A Conversation with Filmmaker Adam Curtis on Power, Technology and How Ideas Get Into People's Heads|Billy Perrigo|February 23, 2021|Time
What follows is hysterical, painful, weird, and strangely touching—a true Festivus for the rest of us.
As a former arts teacher, she feels compelled to help the now-hysterical young boy.
Every night, I speak to the islands of the Caribbean in the language of hysterical storms.
They converted what should have been a long-overdue moral reckoning into a shallow and hysterical ratings bonanza.
But Robin Williams will, sadly, no longer be sending us into hysterical fits of laughter.Robin Williams, Hollywood’s Grand Jester, Is Dead at 63|Marlow Stern|August 12, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Madame Lebrun grew a trifle hysterical; Robert called his brother some sharp, hard names.The Awakening and Selected Short Stories|Kate Chopin
Impudent and reckless us he had been all his life, he was now more timid and nervous than an hysterical girl.
I know quantities of hysterical European women make fools of themselves out here, but I am not hysterical, I assure you.Bella Donna|Robert Hichens
She snatched them from him, and burst into a fit of hysterical crying, which ended in a faintness almost as of death.Elster's Folly|Mrs. Henry Wood
His men sprang into the guard-room of the keep, realizing from his almost hysterical manner the urgent need for haste.St. Martin's Summer|Rafael Sabatini