An approach to describe hysteretic energy loss under three‐dimensional (3D) cyclic loading is proposed for visco‐elastic materials. The approach is simple, highly accurate, and takes into account the non‐linearity of deformations along with the 3D nature of cyclic loading. It is shown that a two‐parameter variant of the approach is, in general, a very good approximation of hysteretic loss even for highly non‐linear deformations. Simple relationships between proposed material parameters and classical characteristics of visco‐elasticity (storage modulus, loss modulus, and loss factor) are considered as well. Experimental confirmation was provided for a typical elastomeric compound, and the statistical reliability of the prediction was found to be very high. The proposed approach may also be used to characterize hysteretic material properties using test results under 2D or 3D loading.