frisson

play
noun fris·son \frē-ˈsōⁿ\

Definition of frisson

plural

frissons

play \frē-ˈsōⁿ(z)\
  1. :  a brief moment of emotional excitement :  shudder, thrill produce a genuine frisson of disquiet — Patricia Craig a frisson of surprise a frisson of delight

frisson was our Word of the Day on 07/14/2013. Hear the podcast!

Examples of frisson in a sentence

  1. those two are still caught up in the giddy frisson of a new romance

Did You Know?

I feel a shiver that's not from the cold as the band and the crowd go charging through the final notes…. That frisson, that exultant moment.... That's how writer Robert W. Stock characterized the culmination of a big piece at a concert in 1982. His use of the word shiver is apt given that "frisson" comes from the French word for "shiver." "Frisson" traces to Old French friçon, which in turn derives from "frictio," Latin for friction. What does friction-normally a heat generator-have to do with thrills and chills? Nothing, actually. The association came about because "frictio" (which derives from Latin fricare, meaning "to rub") was once mistakenly taken to be a derivative of "frigēre," which means "to be cold."

Origin and Etymology of frisson

French, shiver, from Old French friçon, from Late Latin friction-, frictio, from Latin, literally, friction (taken in Late Latin as derivative of frigēre to be cold)


First Known Use: 1777


FRISSON Defined for English Language Learners

frisson

play
noun fris·son \frē-ˈsōⁿ\

Definition of frisson for English Language Learners

  • : a sudden strong feeling or emotion



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