sen·​sa·​tion·​al·​ize sen-ˈsā-shnə-ˌlīz How to pronounce sensationalize (audio)
sensationalized; sensationalizing

transitive verb

: to present in a sensational manner

Examples of sensationalize in a Sentence

Journalists should report the news accurately without trying to sensationalize it.
Recent Examples on the Web In orchestrating and sensationalizing this mayhem, Hamas sought to provoke Israel into a major land invasion of Gaza. Matthew Levitt, Foreign Affairs, 10 May 2024 But sometimes marketers weren’t successful in striking a balance between sensationalizing their products and terrifying their audience. Thomas Bishop, Baltimore Sun, 13 May 2024 Winehouse’s fans feared that Taylor-Johnson’s movie would sensationalize her anguish for dramatic effect. Stephanie Zacharek, TIME, 17 May 2024 In the United States, eating insects is often sensationalized, trivialized or framed as a source of cheap protein for an end-of-the-world scenario. Tejal Rao, New York Times, 6 May 2024 We were told about real-life events that informed the basis for certain episodic elements, and we were reminded that the mandate of the adult animation genre is to sensationalize and exaggerate realities. Kyle Bowser, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Apr. 2024 If scientific findings are sensationalized by journalists, oversimplified by authors, and misused by political actors, what are scientists supposed to do? William Deresiewicz, The Atlantic, 2 Apr. 2024 From 2002 to 2009, scientists across disciplines joined science popularizers in sensationalizing these cells, attributing more properties to them to explain such complex human behaviors as empathy, altruism, learning, imitation, autism and speech. Quanta Magazine, 2 Apr. 2024 The ability to convey the business value of investing in cybersecurity strategies in relation to the threat landscape without sensationalizing it and getting in the weeds is critical. Anudeep Parhar, Forbes, 27 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sensationalize.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1863, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sensationalize was in 1863

Dictionary Entries Near sensationalize

Cite this Entry

“Sensationalize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2024.

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