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 Dalton, after playing a miserable first half, was sensational in the final 30 minutes. Calvin Watkins, Dallas News, "Why there should be no questions about Ezekiel Elliott’s status as the Cowboys’ top RB after 2020 season," 3 Jan. 2021 Newspapers at the time leaned toward the sensational, and Baish’s death notices followed that pattern. Mary Jane Brewer, cleveland, "Sometimes historians uncover sad events: Death at Medina’s McDowell homestead," 29 Dec. 2020 Warhol too straddled the line between exploiting the sensational and examining its nature. Leah Ollman, Los Angeles Times, "How do you get people to stop believing the lies? Ask artist Alison Jackson," 23 Nov. 2020 But when another young woman, Melanie (Gina Rodriguez, sensational), joins in some of their hustles, July's film comes alive. Jake Coyle, Star Tribune, "Review: In July's 'Kajillionaire,' growing up a grifter," 22 Sep. 2020 Zion's first and only appearance against the Bucks included a sensational swat by Giannis Antetokounmpo, who apparently isn't ready to cede any ground in the hierarchy of NBA stars. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Eleven memorable plays during the 2019-20 Bucks season," 14 Aug. 2020 This horse’s first race this summer in Saratoga was sensational. Michael Beychok,, "Check out Chok's Choices for Friday's Fair Grounds races," 17 Dec. 2020 Irving was sensational in the Nets’ exhibition opener, scoring 18 points in 17 minutes and shooting 7-for-9 from the field. Kristian Winfield,, "Nets’ Kyrie Irving ends and explains his media blackout," 14 Dec. 2020 Kirby Yates was sensational in 2018 and 2019, but elbow issues this year may give teams pause. Noah Trister, Star Tribune, "Bauer, LeMahieu, Springer top list of available free agents," 4 Dec. 2020

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

12 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sensational.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for sensational


How to pronounce sensational (audio)

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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