I'm trying to figure out if there is a word that means "both hilarious and terrifying." Thank you.

  • Yes, both hilarious and terrifying. Feb 9, 2017 at 5:51

3 Answers 3


Although informal and not official, hilarifying fits:


  • An absolutely horrifying situation that one still finds hilarious.

(Urban Dictionary)

  • 2
    +1 because why not? And there are also hits for horrifilarious, but they are not up to the scholarly standards of the Urban Dictionary.
    – ab2
    Feb 9, 2017 at 5:09
  • 1
    My immediate thought exactly… except I didn't realise someone else had made it up already. Feb 9, 2017 at 8:47

A slightly tongue-in-cheek solution would be to say "it's a scream!"

Colloquially this is a (mildly) dated way of saying it's hilarious, but the screaming part can also imply terror.

See for example It's a scream! A horror-bly funny comedy


Officially, Freakish would have the correct definition you're looking for.

Freakish via TheFreeDictionary

  1. Markedly unusual or abnormal; strange: freakish weather; a freakish combination of styles.
  2. Relating to or being a freak: a freakish extra toe.
  3. Capricious or whimsical.

I'm not sure you'll get much better without simply using both words, as they're not often related. Ambivalent emotions would describe the contradicting feeling.

Ambivalent Via Dictionary.com

  1. Having mixed feelings about someone or something; being unable to choose between two (usually opposing) courses of action: The whole family was ambivalent about the move to the suburbs. She is regarded as a morally ambivalent character in the play.
  2. Psychology. of or relating to the coexistence within an individual of positive and negative feelings toward the same person, object, or action, simultaneously drawing him or her in opposite directions.
  • 2
    Can you add more as to how freakish conveys terror and hilarity? I am genuinely curious about your take on that word.
    – Hank
    Feb 9, 2017 at 4:10

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