sen·​sa·​tion·​al | \ sen-ˈsā-shnəl How to pronounce sensational (audio) , -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

Keep scrolling for more

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 In the future, deepfake videos and audiofakes may well be used to create distinct, sensational moments that commandeer a press cycle, or to distract from some other, more organic scandal. Renee Diresta, Wired, "AI-Generated Text Is the Scariest Deepfake of All," 31 July 2020 Whether purposeful or not, the sensational tweet appeared as an attempt to distract from conversation around the economy. Nicole Goodkind, Fortune, "The economy is no longer Americans top concern heading into the 2020 election," 30 July 2020 How to choose from 16 years of greatest hits, sensational collaborations and superstar surprises? Nancy Kruh,, "CMA's 'Best of the Fest' TV Special Brings the Joy with Favorite Stars and Biggest Hits," 13 July 2020 From air fryers to charcoal toothpaste, these sensational deals can help make your everyday tasks easier and save you cash, too. Shayna Murphy, USA TODAY, "The 5 best Amazon deals you can get this weekend," 11 July 2020 In what is considered one of the best seasons of any college basketball player in the 2010s, Kaminsky led the Badgers to the NCAA championship game with a sensational senior campaign. Curt Hogg, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "These are 50 of the best single seasons in Wisconsin sports history: Nos. 25-1," 9 June 2020 Dredging up that history happens when her daughter, Lumir (Juliette Binoche, also sensational) returns to France from New York with her actor husband (Ethan Hawke) and their young daughter (Clementine Grenier). Brian Lowry, CNN, "Catherine Deneuve shines in the mother-daughter tale 'The Truth'," 1 July 2020 Steamed dumplings are still a sensational carry-out meal: Ravioli-like envelopes, immersed in a sparkling, copper chile oil with flash-crunchy sesame seeds, are bulging with peppery, garlicky chicken and ground shrimp and spices. Nick Rallo, Dallas News, "Bryan Street survival: How one of Dallas’ most essential dining blocks is living through crisis," 30 June 2020 The most sensational charges against Trump from the book have already been discussed and digested, in early reviews from the New York Times and the Washington Post. Patrick Iber, The New Republic, "John Bolton’s Accidentally Unflattering Self-Portrait," 25 June 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of sensational

1807, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sensational

Time Traveler for sensational

Time Traveler

The first known use of sensational was in 1807

See more words from the same year

Statistics for sensational

Last Updated

3 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sensational.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sensational


How to pronounce sensational (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sensational

: causing very great excitement or interest with shocking details
: very excellent or great
informal : very attractive


sen·​sa·​tion·​al | \ sen-ˈsā-shə-nᵊl How to pronounce sensational (audio) \

Kids Definition of sensational

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!