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

transitive verb

: to present in a sensational manner

Example Sentences

Journalists should report the news accurately without trying to sensationalize it.
Recent Examples on the Web The couple were creatively brave and honest enough to trust Jones to depict that without sensationalizing it. Matt Wake |, al, 9 Apr. 2023 Demolition also removes efforts to further sensationalize the crime scene. Corin Cesaric, Peoplemag, 15 May 2023 More importantly, the IAE warned that the film sensationalized exorcism and failed to convey the suffering of those in need of this ritual. Joseph P. Laycock, Fortune, 4 May 2023 The collections have been the soul and backbone of LACMA and would be the envy of most museums, but the impulse behind the architectural effort, the unstated subconscious of the project, was more fundamentally to sensationalize the design into a spectacle. Joseph Giovannini, The New York Review of Books, 2 Oct. 2020 In uncertain times with some media commentators sensationalizing the news rather than sticking with the facts, no news does not necessarily equate to good news for these employees. Jim Deloach, Forbes, 16 Mar. 2023 Here’s how: The Sopranos imitates Goodfellas; Game of Thrones sensationalizes Lord of the Rings; The White Lotus pillages House of Gucci; and HBO’s racialized Watchmen weaponizes Zack Snyder’s Watchmen. Armond White, National Review, 1 Mar. 2023 In the two-minute clip for the popular Formula 1 documentary series, two-time champion Max Verstappen returns to the hot seat after sitting out of the project last season, claiming that the producers sensationalized drama. Victoria Hernandez, USA TODAY, 17 Feb. 2023 But botched police work, a public prosecutor with overweening political ambitions, and sensationalized reports in the local press combined to whip the public into a vicious prejudicial frenzy—against Yankees, northern industrialists, and Jews. Leslie Camhi, Vogue, 21 Feb. 2023 See More

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 3 Jun. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on sensationalize

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!