sen·​sa·​tion·​al | \ sen-ˈsā-shnəl, -shə-nᵊl\

Definition of sensational

1 : of or relating to sensation or the senses
2 : arousing or tending to arouse (as by lurid details) a quick, intense, and usually superficial interest, curiosity, or emotional reaction sensational tabloid news
3 : exceedingly or unexpectedly excellent or great a sensational talent

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Other Words from sensational

sensationally adverb

Examples of sensational in a Sentence

She looked sensational in her new dress. the sensational news story caused a stir, but after a few days everyone forgot about it

Recent Examples on the Web

While Voigt’s work is clearly sensational, Gypsy Sport’s Rio Uribe is sincere in commitment to finding beauty in difference. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "1968 vs. 2018: 50 Years Later Fashion Is Still Playing With the Bohemian Rhapsody of the Late, Tumultuous ’60s," 14 Dec. 2018 Happ made three sensational diving catches in left — all inning-enders and saving two runs apiece. Teddy Greenstein,, "Ian Happ's diving catches, Kris Bryant's leadoff debut lift Cubs to 3-1 victory," 8 June 2018 Made a sensational catch and fell into a dugout suite in the Royals’ 2-1 win over the Orioles in Game 3 of the ALCS. Pete Grathoff, kansascity, "A timeline of Mike Moustakas' key moments with the Royals | The Kansas City Star," 8 Mar. 2018 Now, as Deadline reported today, the studio is getting its second feature from a woman director — from Domee Shi, director of the sensational Pixar animated short Bao, which debuted this year and ran ahead of Incredibles 2. Bijan Stephen, The Verge, "Pixar hires its second female feature director," 29 Nov. 2018 Lyon Housemuseum The Lyon Housemuseum is the super-stylish home of architect Corbett Lyon, his wife, Yueji, and their children, who live among a sensational collection of Australian contemporary art of all media, from paintings to video. Carrie Hutchinson, Condé Nast Traveler, "10 Best Museums in Melbourne," 26 Sep. 2018 The 1982 is indeed an excellent wine, although not quite as sensational as the 1959 that follows, one of the greatest Bordeaux ever made, in my opinion, and a great pairing with agneau de sept heures. Jay Mcinerney, Town & Country, "A New Era Begins at Château Lafite as Baron de Rothschild Hands Leadership Over to His Daughter," 13 Aug. 2018 Joaquin Phoenix gives another fine performance, but Jonah Hill, as Mr. Callahan’s sponsor, is sensational in support. Ben Kenigsberg, New York Times, "Summer 2018 Movie Release Schedule," 4 May 2018 LeBron James was sensational with 35 points, 14 boards, and one of his all-time great dunks. Chris Fedor,, "LeBron James' vicious dunk over Jusuf Nurkic causes Cavaliers' bench to explode (video)," 15 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sensational.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of sensational

1807, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for sensational

The first known use of sensational was in 1807

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More Definitions for sensational



English Language Learners Definition of sensational

: causing very great excitement or interest with shocking details

: very excellent or great

: very attractive


sen·​sa·​tion·​al | \ sen-ˈsā-shə-nᵊl \

Kids Definition of sensational

1 : causing or meant to cause great interest a sensational crime
2 : very or unexpectedly excellent

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Comments on sensational

What made you want to look up sensational? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to gather or build up little by little

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