Definition of hysteria in English:


Syllabification: hys·te·ri·a
Pronunciation: /həˈstirēə
, həˈsterēə


1Exaggerated or uncontrollable emotion or excitement, especially among a group of people: the mass hysteria that characterizes the week before Christmas
More example sentences
  • Various people are drunk or act strangely or approach mini entertaining hysterias - like whirlpools in cups of tea they pass quickly.
  • The world cannot tolerate these old claims, most times based on sheer hysteria and emotion.
  • The whole history of the US, indeed, is punctuated with scares, crazes and occasional mass hysteria.
frenzy, feverishness, hysterics, fit of madness, derangement, mania, delirium;
panic, alarm, distress
1.1 Psychiatry A psychological disorder (not now regarded as a single definite condition) whose symptoms include conversion of psychological stress into physical symptoms (somatization), selective amnesia, shallow volatile emotions, and overdramatic or attention-seeking behavior. The term has a controversial history as it was formerly regarded as a disease specific to women.
More example sentences
  • They never talk about a disorder called hysteria, they talk about the womb wandering.
  • Freud learned from Charcot that, in order to understand hysteria, he had to look to psychology rather than to neurology.
  • When these types break down they tend to develop either hysteria or mania.


early 19th century: from Latin hystericus (see hysteric).

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