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

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 Gessen, who is not prone to sentimentality, yet this book, whose plot unfolds through the lives of varied protagonists, is a story of heartbreak. Marci Shore, The Atlantic, 11 Mar. 2022 And their success won’t be tied to Americans’ sentimentality. Ethan Karp, Forbes, 5 May 2021 The package that is sold to international audiences with fond sentimentality at the expense of Black people, and Black women the most, is delegating them even further into the margins as street dealers or housekeepers. Shamira Ibrahim,, 10 Jan. 2022 Lane wrestles with the sentimentality of Branagh’s coming-of-age film, which is set during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. The New Yorker, 27 Mar. 2022 Their patina brings a touchable texture and warmth to every space, not to mention a sacred sentimentality. Elise Taylor, Vogue, 3 Jan. 2022 The upshot was a satisfying dose of sentimentality, in the form of a particular fantasy quest: After all the pain and loss, could modern fathers become faithful and child-centered? Mark Greif, The Atlantic, 15 Mar. 2022 Like Davis, Steen has a deep appreciation for the sentimentality of fashion. Layne Van Vranken, Chron, 2 Dec. 2021 Still, the soupy sentimentality of the picture does jar. John Banville, The New Republic, 16 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of sentimentality

1770, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near sentimentality




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for sentimentality

Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sentimentality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on sentimentality

Nglish: Translation of sentimentality for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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