hor·​rip·​i·​la·​tion | \ hȯ-ˌri-pə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce horripilation (audio) , hä- \

Definition of horripilation

: a bristling of the hair of the head or body (as from fright or excitement) : goose bumps Suddenly he was swept by horripilation. The goosebumps swept up from his ankles all the way to the nape of his neck, where the hairs stirred and tried to lift.— Stephen King

Other Words from horripilation

horripilate \ hȯ-​ˈri-​pə-​ˌlāt How to pronounce horripilate (audio) , hä-​ \ verb, transitive + intransitive horripilated; horripilating; horripilates
The Devil's Reign reads like a memoir with a supernatural element designed to entertain and horripilate the reader … ForeWord

First Known Use of horripilation

circa 1656, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for horripilation

borrowed from Late Latin horripilātiōn-, horripilātiō "bristling of hair," from horripilāre "to shudder" (Latin, "to become bristly or hairy," from horrēre "to be stiffly erect, bristle, shudder, shiver" + -i- -i- + -pilāre, verbal derivative of pilus "hair," of obscure origin) + Latin -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at horror entry 1

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Time Traveler for horripilation

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The first known use of horripilation was circa 1656

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Cite this Entry

“Horripilation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/horripilation. Accessed 29 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for horripilation


hor·​rip·​i·​la·​tion | \ hȯ-ˌrip-ə-ˈlā-shən, hä- How to pronounce horripilation (audio) \

Medical Definition of horripilation

: a bristling of the hair of the head or body (as from disease, terror, or chilliness) : goose bumps

Other Words from horripilation

horripilate \ hȯ-​ˈrip-​ə-​ˌlāt, hä-​ How to pronounce horripilate (audio) \ transitive verb horripilated; horripilating

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