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 The best baths have a way of enveloping your body and senses, and bath bombs can help make every little dip in the water feel more sensational. Shayna Murphy, USA TODAY, 21 May 2021 While no treasure has been found, peripheral discoveries—apparent clues, possible traps, and geological curiosities—have compelled searchers onward, even as historians dispute the more sensational claims surrounding the treasure. Dylan Taylor-lehman, Popular Mechanics, 13 May 2021 To get Jaylen Waddle and Jaelan Philips in the first round is simply sensational. Tim Bielik, cleveland, 1 May 2021 The real story was less sensational if no less impressive, involving intensive back-channel communications and U.S. concessions. Andre Pagliarini, The New Republic, 16 Apr. 2021 By the 1850s, the language became more sensational. Janice Hume, The Conversation, 12 Apr. 2021 Highsmith’s vision is less sensational and, as a result, more sinister. New York Times, 8 Apr. 2021 Webb has been simply sensational throughout the exhibition season, allowing four hits in four scoreless outings while striking out 17 and walking just one in 11 innings. Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle, 23 Mar. 2021 Though parts of the film are solidly based in Stone’s memories, his actual experience, as related in the memoir Chasing the Light, wasn’t sensational enough to be a macho melodrama, which is what Platoon is. Kyle Smith, National Review, 6 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for sensational

Time Traveler

The first known use of sensational was in 1807

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Statistics for sensational

Last Updated

17 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sensational.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

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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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