sen·​ti·​men·​tal·​i·​ty | \ ˌsen-tə-ˌmen-ˈta-lə-tē How to pronounce sentimentality (audio) , -mən- \
plural sentimentalities

Definition of sentimentality

1 : the quality or state of being sentimental especially to excess or in affectation
2 : a sentimental idea or its expression

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of sentimentality in a Sentence

the sentimentality of Romantic poetry the sentimentality of the story of star-crossed lovers only made it even more popular with moviegoers
Recent Examples on the Web Between guilt and sentimentality, many households have trouble releasing their heirloom china. Jura Koncius,, "Fresh ideas for the family china that nobody wants," 16 Oct. 2019 Of course, sentimentality is what the restaurant aims for: Dear Inga aims to do what its name announces. Soleil Ho,, "Dear Inga will take you home," 19 Dec. 2019 But Chance didn’t so much bask in sentimentality as dance right over it. Greg Kot,, "Review: Chance the Rapper puts love songs in overdrive at United Center," 29 Sep. 2019 The potent mix of wistful nostalgia, unvarnished sentimentality and daydreamy optimism articulated the hopes and anxieties of war-weary soldiers and citizens alike. Jordan Runtagh,, "Bing Crosby's 'White Christmas': The Poignant Story Behind the Enduring Holiday Classic," 22 Nov. 2019 The comedy comes from the juxtaposition of the outrageous and vulgar physicality with jarring notes of sentimentality. Jason Zinoman, New York Times, "Make Way for the Carnal Clowns of Stand-Up," 15 Nov. 2019 The recipe for any British holiday movie, the type pioneered by merchants of sap like Richard Curtis, requires a fine balance of sentimentality and cynicism. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Last Christmas Is a Welcome Dose of Sweetness," 6 Nov. 2019 But Donoghue doesn’t just play it for laughs — or sentimentality. Ron Charles Critic, Washington Post, "Emma Donoghue’s ‘Akin’ sends an odd couple to France," 10 Sep. 2019 The Evans manse managed to be both stately and intimate at the same time; its shelves and tables teemed with books and photographs, evidence of sentimentality and perhaps even curiosity that went beyond optionable works. Lesley M.m. Blume, Town & Country, "The Profane Originality of Robert Evans, Hollywood's Most Unapologetic Gatsby," 2 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sentimentality.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of sentimentality

1770, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sentimentality

Time Traveler for sentimentality

Time Traveler

The first known use of sentimentality was in 1770

See more words from the same year

Statistics for sentimentality

Last Updated

10 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sentimentality.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sentimentality


How to pronounce sentimentality (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sentimentality

: the quality of being sentimental especially in an excessive way

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on sentimentality

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


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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