hysterical (adj.)

1610s, "characteristic of hysteria," the nervous disease originally defined as a neurotic condition peculiar to women and thought to be caused by a dysfunction of the uterus; literally "of the womb," from Latin hystericus "of the womb," from Greek hysterikos "of the womb, suffering in the womb," from hystera "womb," from PIE *udtero-, variant of *udero- "abdomen, womb, stomach" (see uterus). Compare hysteria.

Meaning "very funny" (by 1939) is from the notion of uncontrollable fits of laughter. For "inclined to hysteria," American English formerly had the colloquial hystericky (1792). Related: Hysterically.

Origin and meaning of hysterical

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Definitions of hysterical from WordNet

hysterical (adj.)
characterized by or arising from psychoneurotic hysteria; "during hysterical conditions various functions of the human body are disordered"- Morris Fishbein;
hysterical amnesia
Synonyms: hysteric
hysterical (adj.)
marked by excessive or uncontrollable emotion;
a mob of hysterical vigilantes
hysterical laughter