• WordNet 3.6
    • n hilarity great merriment
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Hilarity Boisterous mirth; merriment; jollity.Hilarity differs from joy: the latter, excited by good news or prosperity, is an affection of the mind; the former, produced by social pleasure, drinking, etc., which rouse the animal spirits, is more demonstrative.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n hilarity Demonstrative mirth or merriment; gleeful exhilaration; social gaiety; jollity.
    • n hilarity Synonyms Hilarity, Joy, Glee, Joviality; gaiety, exhilaration. Joy is not often used of the excitement or overflow of animal spirits, but is rather and almost distinctively an affection of the mind. Glee is a strong word for an acute or ecstatic pleasure that expresses itself in mirthfulness and other demonstrative signs of high spirits. Joviality is that feeling or character which, being itself gay, merry, or jolly, brings others into the same mood; the word is generally used in a good sense. Hilarity is more often, but not necessarily, used of mirth, laughter, or other signs of exhilaration exceeding the limits of reason or propriety. See animation, mirth, gladness, happiness.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Hilarity gaiety: pleasurable excitement
    • ***


  • Charles Dickens
    “Fan the sinking flame of hilarity with the wing of friendship; and pass the rosy wine.”
  • Graham Greene
    “His hilarity was like a scream from a crevasse.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. hilaritas,: cf. F. hilarité,. See Hilarious
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. hilaris—Gr. hilaros, cheerful.


In literature:

From within the building came the roar of coarse hilarity and coarser jests.
"A Friend of Caesar" by William Stearns Davis
On the two punts in the backwater a great peace descended after the hilarity of their feast.
"Far to Seek" by Maud Diver
Hilarity from diurnal fever, xxxvi.
"Zoonomia, Vol. I" by Erasmus Darwin
They halted in an open field to sing and dance; and, during their hilarity, Capt.
"History of the Negro Race in America From 1619 to 1880. Vol 1" by George W. Williams
This boisterous hilarity enlivened the end of the dinner.
"His Masterpiece" by Emile Zola
Still his excitement kept him keyed to a pitch of singular and optimistic hilarity.
"Kenny" by Leona Dalrymple
Her depression had soured into hilarity.
"Dorothy Dale's Camping Days" by Margaret Penrose
But there was less hilarity than usual on the return of a regiment.
"The Continental Monthly, Vol. IV. October, 1863, No. IV." by Various
Having inspected the farmyard and the stables, she crossed the ragged field to the negro cabins, where she was received with hilarity.
"The Voice of the People" by Ellen Glasgow
There was no undue hilarity about them, but a quiet determination which has been reflected in the stand made by the armies.
"World's War Events, Volume III" by Various

In poetry:

"Just here the bump appears
Of Innocent Hilarity,
And just behind his ears
Are Faith, and Hope, and Charity.
"Phrenology" by William Schwenck Gilbert
O throne of State and gilded Senate halls--
Though thousands throng your aisles and galleries--
How empty are ye! and what silence falls
On your hilarities!
"Morton" by James Whitcomb Riley
Good in all,
In the satisfaction and aplomb of animals,
In the annual return of the seasons,
In the hilarity of youth,
In the strength and flush of manhood,
In the grandeur and exquisiteness of old age,
"Song At Sunset" by Walt Whitman

In news:

The Occasional, Unintentional Hilarity of Patent Art.
Betty White's 'Off Their Rockers' Brings Pure Hilarity on a Hump Night.
'Kinect Star Wars' really a dance game at heart, expect YouTube hilarity to ensue.
Hilarity ' was anything but funny.
Vaudeville hilarity and Mark Twain.
Rednecks Invade the Hamptons and Hilarity Is Sure to Ensue.
A double dose of holiday hilarity .
Size 8 Shorts': Long on hilarity .
Chuck and Larry' can't wed hilarity , meaning.
A Harvest Of Hilarity In a Festival.
"Noises Off" and "Love Child" succeed at play-within-play hilarity.
HBO's 'Angry Boys' Is Over-the-Top Hilarity.
Though it doesn't always hit the hilarity target, this tween-targeted romp strikes a sweet-but-not-sappy balance.
Speech & Debate captures the trauma, the drama and the hilarity of being a teenager.
Learn more about her growing company here or follow her on Twitter to keep up with the daily hilarity.