hysterical vs hilarious : Common Errors in English

About hysterical vs hilarious

People say of a bit of humor or a comical situation that it was“hysterical”—shorthand for “hysterically funny”—meaning “hilarious.”But when you speak of a man being “hysterical” it means he is having afit of hysteria, and that may not be funny at all.

hysterical Meaning(s)

  • (s) characterized by or arising from psychoneurotic hysteria
  • (s) marked by excessive or uncontrollable emotion

hilarious Meaning(s)

  • (s) marked by or causing boisterous merriment or convulsive laughter

hysterical in News

  1. Amy Poehler is a Judy Blume fan

    We want in on the Amy Poehler book club. The actress is not only the hysterical star of "Parks and Recreation" and a darn fine co-host of Awards shows, but she also is a big fan of author Judy Blume. "I am excited to see Judy Blume’s new movie, because she is a very special […]
    on June 12, 2013 Source: CNN

  2. 'This Is The End': The Reviews Are In!

    Critics call the film 'stupidly hysterical' and fall tired of the actors' immaturity.
    on June 12, 2013 Source: MTV

  3. If asked, Moscow says, it would consider granting Edward Snowden asylum

    "The U.S. would be hysterical," one Russian official wrote on Twitter.
    on June 11, 2013 Source: Washington Post

hilarious in News

  1. Projection

    One of the more hilarious aspects of the back and forth in "Mr Redmond's Cyber Playpen" is the inevitable scream from Redmond's adversaries of "envy" every time Redmond posts anything critical of SF's moneyed class.
    on June 13, 2013 Source: San Francisco Bay Guardian

  2. George Takei's Facebook Ghostwriter Apologizes

    Hip, hilarious and oh-so-topical, George Takei has one of the most popular and beloved Facebook feeds on the social web. His compassion and humor have helped him smoothly reincarnate himself as a modern Internet sensation after starring as Hikaru Sulu on the 1960s Star Trek TV series That's why many of his loyal fans were dismayed to learn last week that their online hero is not, in fact, the ...
    on June 13, 2013 Source: Mashable

  3. The Silver Cord

    Alternately hilarious and heart-stopping, Sidney Howard's 'The Silver Cord' tells the story of the sweetly tyrannical, Mrs. Phelps - the "mother of all mothers."
    on June 11, 2013 Source: New York Times

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