a condition affecting a group of persons, characterized by excitement or anxiety, irrational behavior or beliefs, or inexplicable symptoms of illness.
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Also called epidemic hysteria.
Origin of mass hysteria
First recorded in 1930–35
Words nearby mass hysteria
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
Medical definitions for mass hysteria
Spontaneous, en masse development of identical physical or emotional symptoms among a group of individuals, as in a classroom of schoolchildren.
A socially contagious frenzy of irrational behavior in a group of people as a reaction to an event.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.