When everyone is in a panic about a potential upcoming storm, this is an example of a time when there is great hysteria about the storm.
- a psychiatric condition variously characterized by emotional excitability, excessive anxiety, sensory and motor disturbances, or the unconscious simulation of organic disorders, such as blindness, deafness, etc.
- any outbreak of wild, uncontrolled excitement or feeling, such as fits of laughing and crying
Origin of hysteriaModern Latin from hysteric + -ia
- Behavior exhibiting excessive or uncontrollable emotion, such as fear or panic.
- A group of psychiatric symptoms, including heightened emotionality, attention-seeking behavior, and preoccupation with physical symptoms that may not be explainable by a medical condition. The term hysteria is no longer in clinical use, and such symptoms are currently attributed to any of several psychiatric conditions, including somatic symptom disorder, conversion disorder, and histrionic personality disorder.
Origin of hysteriaNew Latin hyster(ic) -ia 1
(usually uncountable, plural hysterias or hysteriæ)
From New Latin hysteria, from hysteric, from Latin hystericus, from Ancient Greek ὑστερικός (hysterikos, “suffering in the uterus, hysterical”), from ὑστέρα (hustera, “womb”). Compare French hystérie.