\ˈthril \
thrilled; thrilling; thrills

Definition of thrill 

transitive verb

1a : to cause to experience a sudden sharp feeling of excitement the news thrilled him

b : to cause to have a shivering or tingling sensation

2 : to cause to vibrate or tremble perceptibly

intransitive verb

1 : to become thrilled:

a : to experience a sudden sharp excitement

b : tingle, throb

2 : to move or pass so as to cause a sudden wave of emotion

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Other Words from thrill

thrill noun
thrillingly \ˈthri-​liŋ-​lē \ adverb

Examples of thrill in a Sentence

Circus performers still thrill audiences today. I was thrilled by their decision.

Recent Examples on the Web

Since starting her strike months back, Greta has spent every Friday protesting — which isn’t thrilling to her father, Svante Thunberg. Emily Bloch, Teen Vogue, "15-Year-Old Activist Greta Thunberg Schooled World Leaders on Climate Change at a United Nations Summit," 5 Dec. 2018 And to be asked by Steven Spielberg to participate is simply thrilling! Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Rita Moreno Has Officially Joined Steven Spielberg's West Side Story Remake," 28 Nov. 2018 There’s something thrilling about the tension of a seemingly regular person trying to maintain a veil of normalcy, while maintaining a separate identity as a serial killer or vigilante hero. Verge Staff, The Verge, "The Verge’s guide to tolerable family streaming entertainment," 21 Nov. 2018 Republicans facing tough races in November would not have been thrilled. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "Conservatives back down from effort to force a vote on impeaching Rod Rosenstein," 26 July 2018 Halftime: France 1, Argentina 1 France will like the first 40 minutes of that, and Argentina will be thrilled with the last five or so. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "Messi Exits the World Cup. Hours Later, So Does Ronaldo.," 1 July 2018 But Eagles fans now have every reason to be thrilled about the franchise quarterback’s progress. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "Why Carson Wentz's OTA workout had Eagles fans thrilled," 22 May 2018 Despite the fact that the internet has light takes for days on this dark turn, there’s plenty for Flowers to be positively thrilled about. Ashley Hoffman, Time, "#SadBrandon Is the Saddest Sad Celebrity Meme Ever," 8 Mar. 2018 The announcement that the royals are expecting their first child will thrill royal family fans worldwide. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Is Pregnant, and the Royal Baby Is Due in Spring 2019," 15 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'thrill.' 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 thrill

1592, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for thrill

Middle English thirlen, thrillen to pierce, from Old English thyrlian, from thyrel hole, from thurh through — more at through entry 1

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Statistics for thrill

Last Updated

16 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for thrill

The first known use of thrill was in 1592

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More Definitions for thrill



English Language Learners Definition of thrill

: to cause (someone) to feel very excited or happy

: to feel very excited or happy about something


\ˈthril \
thrilled; thrilling

Kids Definition of thrill

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to have or cause to have a sudden feeling of excitement or pleasure

Other Words from thrill

thriller noun



Kids Definition of thrill (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a sudden strong feeling especially of excitement or happiness the thrill of victory … Harry felt a sudden thrill of foreboding.— J. K. Rowling, Goblet of Fire

2 : something that produces a feeling of excitement The boys went into town in search of thrills.


\ˈthril \

Medical Definition of thrill 

: an abnormal fine tremor or vibration in the respiratory or circulatory systems felt on palpation a continuous systolic and diastolic murmur, frequently associated with a thrill— R. L. Cecil & R. F. Loeb

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More from Merriam-Webster on thrill

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with thrill

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for thrill

Spanish Central: Translation of thrill

Nglish: Translation of thrill for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of thrill for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about thrill

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