sen·​sa·​tion·​al·​ism | \ sen-ˈsā-shnə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce sensationalism (audio) , -shə-nə-ˌli-zəm\

Definition of sensationalism

1 : empiricism that limits experience as a source of knowledge to sensation or sense perceptions
2 : the use or effect of sensational subject matter or treatment

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Other Words from sensationalism

sensationalist \ sen-​ˈsā-​shnə-​list How to pronounce sensationalist (audio) \ adjective or noun
sensationalistic \ sen-​ˌsā-​shnə-​ˈli-​stik How to pronounce sensationalistic (audio) , -​shə-​nə-​ˈlis-​tik \ adjective

Examples of sensationalism in a Sentence

The network was accused of sensationalism in its reporting.

Recent Examples on the Web

There was at last clear evidence to support a notion of privacy as a social good rather than an individual right — and, finally, a way to talk about why privacy matters without recourse to sensationalism. Gideon Lewis-kraus, New York Times, "Facebook and the ‘Dead Body’ Problem," 24 Apr. 2018 Like all of Ryan Murphy’s work, AHS: Apocalypse is graphic, gross, and over-the-top in its gory sensationalism. Anne T. Donahue, Marie Claire, "In 2018, Horror Movies Are the Most Comforting Things I Watch," 19 Nov. 2018 The press has always had a penchant for sensationalism; now that’s raging at the intersection of politics and entertainment, where fans of scandalous news can’t get enough of the addictive stuff. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘The Front Runner’ Review: All the News That’s Unfit," 8 Nov. 2018 More competition for fewer readers and advertisers tempted traditionally staid news outlets toward tabloid sensationalism and fantasy, albeit in a more political and (usually) less salacious vein. Amar Bhidé, WSJ, "Skepticism Beats Snopes as an Antidote to Fake News," 8 June 2018 Some of these artists will rise beyond sheer sensationalism; others will flame out quickly. Gary Shteyngart, The New Yorker, "Cardi B’s “Invasion of Privacy” Is as Studious as It Is Bombastic," 27 Sep. 2017 Never a company to shy from sensationalism, the distributor emerged as the likely suitor for the director's latest bacchanal that stars Sofia Boutella as a dancer who finds pleasure in a no-rules forest orgy. Thr Staff, The Hollywood Reporter, "What Matters in Hollywood Today," 14 May 2018 So anomalies, trends, advertising, hysteria, sensationalism. Karen Bliss, Billboard, "Aloe Blacc on 'America's Musical Journey' Doc, His Forthcoming Album & Unreleased Songs With Avicii," 20 June 2018 Even amateurs who don’t expect payment often hope for attention, swelling a race to the bottom in sensationalism. Amar Bhidé, WSJ, "Skepticism Beats Snopes as an Antidote to Fake News," 8 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sensationalism.' 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 sensationalism

1846, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for sensationalism

The first known use of sensationalism was in 1846

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English Language Learners Definition of sensationalism

disapproving : the use of shocking details to cause a lot of excitement or interest

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sensationalism

Spanish Central: Translation of sensationalism Encyclopedia article about sensationalism

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What made you want to look up sensationalism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to take the place or position of

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