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

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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

Of course, the young American violinist and conductor, who was once more sensational Sunday night at UCLA's Royce Hall, may have been holding out all along for bigger orchestral fish to fry. Mark Swed,, "Karina Canellakis, back in L.A. with a hire-wire act," 24 Apr. 2018 Macedonian teenagers create sensational and false content to profit from online ad sales. Ethan Zuckerman, The Atlantic, "This Is So Much Bigger Than Facebook," 23 Mar. 2018 The sensational 252-day trial ended on October 3, 1995, when O.J. was acquitted. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Where Is Marcia Clark Now? All About the O.J. Simpson Prosecutor and Her Show 'The Fix'," 19 Mar. 2019 Every garment sent down the runway was sensational and spanned a variety of textures, hues, shapes, patterns, and dimensions. Scarlett Newman, Teen Vogue, "Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli on the Importance of Having a Voice in Fashion," 2 Apr. 2019 After sashaying away from Atlanta after seasons 1 and 2 of the show took the streaming world by storm, the sensational squad are now making people ugly-cry with their incredible makeovers in Kansas City, Missouri. Alison Caporimo, Seventeen, "Here's Exactly How To Nominate Someone For "Queer Eye"," 28 Mar. 2019 But Freddy Peralta did not make the Milwaukee Brewers wait long before debuting in sensational fashion Sunday in Denver. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Acquired at 19, Freddy Peralta rocketed through Brewers system toward sensational debut," 14 May 2018 While this triggered a sensational headline and made it onto newswires, note that Banadov, age 30, won a grand total of $26,311 in prize money and his ranking topped out at No. Jon Wertheim,, "50 Parting Thoughts From Roland Garros 2018," 10 June 2018 The pressure paid off when Zacha evened the score at 3:31 on a sensational setup by Jesper Bratt. Mike Farrell, The Seattle Times, "Toffoli scores 2 early in 3rd period, Kings beat Devils 5-1," 5 Feb. 2019

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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Statistics for sensational

Last Updated

20 May 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
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

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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).


one that collects or salvages junk

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