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See also: hystéria


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From New Latin hysteria, a back-formation from Latin hystericus, from Ancient Greek ὑστερικός (husterikós, suffering in the uterus, hysterical), from ὑστέρα (hustéra, womb). Compare French hystérie.



hysteria (usually uncountable, plural hysterias or hysteriae or hysteriæ)

  1. Behavior exhibiting excessive or uncontrollable emotion, such as fear or panic.
    • 1968, Conquest, Robert, “Old Bolsheviks Confess”, in The Great Terror: Stalin's Purge of the Thirties[1], Macmillan Company, LCCN 68-17513, OCLC 1169910711, OL 21272570M, page 117:
      Zinoviev was unwell and feverish. He was told he was to be transferred to another cell. But when he saw the guards he at once understood. All accounts agree that he collapsed, yelling in a high-pitched voice a desperate appeal to Stalin to keep his word. He gave the impression of hysteria, but this is probably not fair, as his voice was always very piercing when he was excited, and he was perhaps trying to make a last speech. He was, in addition, still suffering from heart and liver trouble, so that some sort of collapse is understandable.
  2. (medicine) A mental disorder characterized by emotional excitability etc. without an organic cause.
    • 1974, Thomas S. Szasz, M.D., chapter 13, in The Myth of Mental Illness[2], →ISBN, page 218:
      The typical cases of hysteria cited by Freud thus involved a moral conflict—a conflict about what the young women in question wanted to do with themselves. Did they want to prove that they were good daughters by taking care of their sick fathers? Or did they want to become independent of their parents, by having a family of their own, or in some other way? I believe it was the tension between these conflicting aspirations that was the crucial issue in these cases. The sexual problem—say, of the daughter's incestuous cravings for her father—was secondary (if that important); it was stimulated, perhaps, by the interpersonal situation in which the one had to attend to the other's body. Moreover, it was probably easier to admit the sexual problem to consciousness and to worry about it than to raise the ethical problem indicated. In the final analysis, the latter is a vastly difficult problem in living. It cannot be "solved" by any particular maneuver but requires rather decision making about basic goals, and, having made the decisions, dedicated efforts to attain them.
  3. (informal, pathology) Synonym of conversion disorder
  4. (pathology, until early 20th century, now historical) Any disorder of women with some psychiatric symptoms without other diagnosis, ascribed to uterine influences on the female body, lack of pregnancy, or lack of sex.



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Further reading[edit]




Internationalism (see English hysteria), ultimately from New Latin hysteria.



  1. hysteria


Inflection of hysteria (Kotus type 12/kulkija, no gradation)
nominative hysteria hysteriat
genitive hysterian hysterioiden
partitive hysteriaa hysterioita
illative hysteriaan hysterioihin
singular plural
nominative hysteria hysteriat
accusative nom. hysteria hysteriat
gen. hysterian
genitive hysterian hysterioiden
partitive hysteriaa hysterioita
inessive hysteriassa hysterioissa
elative hysteriasta hysterioista
illative hysteriaan hysterioihin
adessive hysterialla hysterioilla
ablative hysterialta hysterioilta
allative hysterialle hysterioille
essive hysteriana hysterioina
translative hysteriaksi hysterioiksi
instructive hysterioin
abessive hysteriatta hysterioitta
comitative hysterioineen
Possessive forms of hysteria (type kulkija)
possessor singular plural
1st person hysteriani hysteriamme
2nd person hysteriasi hysterianne
3rd person hysteriansa