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

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 Yet his back-to-the-future encounter with his sensational and melodramatic past might become his Achilles' heel. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "Trump's tabloid past may come back to haunt him," 17 Apr. 2018 However, Frye said, remember that Alexander Rossi, along with a couple others, delivered some sensational moments during the 500 with their bold passes on the outside. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "IndyCar competition boss Jay Frye pleased by Indy 500 but open to tweaking qualifying, race," 8 June 2018 Lindor looks sensational in the field and he's smashed five HR. Terry Pluto,, "Cleveland Indians 2018: Quiet underdogs is right spot -- Terry Pluto (photos)," 28 Oct. 2017 Looking sensational in Ann Hould-Ward's costumes, Rose's Carmen wraps herself around the men and takes contemptuous swipes at the women, never relinquishing her control even when Joe is ordered to lead her off to the guardhouse for picking fights. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Carmen Jones': Theater Review," 28 June 2018 Indeed, the Red Devils are thought to be preparing to battle their rivals Manchester City to seal the signature of French sensational Kylian Mbappé., "Man Utd Scrap Plans to Sign £50m Rated Alex Sandro & Switch Focus to Valencia Star Left-Back," 24 June 2018 Moving on to track in the spring, Olave was nothing short of sensational in Avocado East League competition. Uniontribune,, "Cast your vote for Male Prep Athlete of the Year," 2 June 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

23 Sep 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).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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