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

YouTube prohibits violent or gory content posted in a shocking, sensational or disrespectful manner. Victoria Rodriguez, Seventeen, "A Complete Timeline of Logan Paul's Controversies," 9 Feb. 2018 YouTube prohibits violent or gory content posted in a shocking, sensational or disrespectful manner. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "YouTube finally hands down punishment to creator for posting dead body video," 11 Jan. 2018 YouTube prohibits violent or gory content posted in a shocking, sensational or disrespectful manner. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "YouTube's Response to the Logan Paul’s Controversy Faces Backlash," 10 Jan. 2018 Another of the film’s bombshells has already made it to the press, but the film itself isn’t sensational about it. Wesley Morris, New York Times, "Review: ‘Whitney,’ a Pop Music Tragedy, Is Sad, Strange and Dismaying," 5 July 2018 Unfortunately, society and local leaders only take issue when the situation is sensational, or the individual is of prominence. Stephen A. Crockett Jr., The Root, "The Sterling Brown Video Has Been Released, and I Have a Few Questions for the Milwaukee Police," 24 May 2018 The Democratic party’s 1904 platform included this rebuke: The existing Republican administration has been spasmodic, erratic, sensational, spectacular, and arbitrary. Jay Cost, National Review, "Is the Presidency Driving Us Nuts?," 8 Jan. 2018 The Croatian midfield, led by Luka Modric, has been sensational and its defense has looked good, too. Michelle Kaufman, miamiherald, "2018 World Cup Round of 16 Preview: Everything You Need to Know," 29 June 2018 Much of Boo’s work is marked by an immersion in the lives of her subjects that avoids the sensational and the unusual and looks for threads that connect to the wider human condition. John Wilkens,, "Pulitzer Prize-winning author Katherine Boo in town for free talk at Central Library," 1 May 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

4 Nov 2018

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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).


playful or foolish behavior

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