See more synonyms for hysteric on Thesaurus.com
  1. hysterical.

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 formsan·ti·hys·ter·ic, noun, adjective
Can be confusedhysterics histrionics
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for hysterics


noun (functioning as plural or singular)
  1. an attack of hysteria
  2. informal wild uncontrollable bursts of laughter


  1. a hysterical person
  1. hysterical
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

Word Origin and History for hysterics

1727, from hysterical. Sometimes in 19c. jocularly folk-etymologized as high-strikes (1838).



1650s, from Latin hystericus, from Greek hysterikos "belonging to the womb" (see hysterical). As a noun from 1751.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

hysterics in Medicine


  1. A person suffering from hysteria.
  2. 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.