We speak of madness when someone is in a fit of anger, and being smitten when someone is in love (with someone), etc. But what about when someone just can't stop laughing? i.e, when someone is "cracking-up" - is there a more formal word?

  • 3
    This brings to mind maniacal laughter. Commented Apr 24, 2012 at 18:46
  • @cornbreadninja - Exactly! Isn't it akin to being mad in that it's uncontrollable? Like that famous video on YT of the talkshow guy laughing at a castrated man's voice>? Commented Apr 24, 2012 at 18:48
  • Stupidity. You can't think and laugh at the same time.
    – Mitch
    Commented Apr 25, 2012 at 1:09
  • 2
    Smitten just happens to be a metaphorical usage often applied to infatuation, being in love. But you can be smitten by a sword, disease, lightning,... And although to be mad can mean to be angry, there's no particular reason to associate anger (displeasure) with madness (insanity). This question is based on the false premise that Anger is to Madness as Love is to Being Smitten as XXXX is to Laughter. That's just six more-or-less unrelated terms, not three examples of some meaningful "relationship". Commented Apr 21, 2023 at 14:03
  • What exactly is supposed to be accomplished by closing a question that was open for more than ten years, seen 3K times, and has several answers, some of which have a nonnegligible number of upvotes? Surely it would be better to leave the question open, so that the existing answers are exposed to competition. The question is quite clear as it is. If one believes that there is no word that the question seeks, one should post that as an answer, rather than treat it as a reason for closing the question.
    – jsw29
    Commented Apr 21, 2023 at 15:51

6 Answers 6


We speak of hysterical laughter.

  • It is puzzling why the OP accepted this answer, as it doesn''t seem to answer the question as posed. The question sought a word for a mental state behind laughter (i.e. for something distinct from laughter); this answer offers an adjective for a particular kind of laughter.
    – jsw29
    Commented Apr 21, 2023 at 14:30
  • 1
    In hysterics would be a noun formulation.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Apr 21, 2023 at 18:00


  • 1
    @Adel, that, combined with a thesaurus, should get you started.
    – zpletan
    Commented Apr 24, 2012 at 18:19

They are amused. Defined as being entertained by something.


I would suggest the state of euphoria as on directly link to laughter and the ease or comfort, one feels towards a subject, situation ; usually some potentially lesser threat. Exemple : laughing after one falls or smiling in the face of profoundly perplexing ideas.


I would say, if the news anchor was uncontrollably laughing at a castrated man, his sense of humor would be macabre. Thus, placing his uncontrolled laughter at deranged laughter.


Anyone exhibiting uncontrolled emotion is unrestrained, meaning they don’t hold back.

"laugh unrestrainedly!" (An adverb form of unrestrained)

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