thrill·​er | \ ˈthri-lər How to pronounce thriller (audio) \

Definition of thriller

: one that thrills especially : a work of fiction or drama designed to hold the interest by the use of a high degree of intrigue, adventure, or suspense

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Examples of thriller in a Sentence

His latest novel is a political thriller. those televison awards are hardly thrillers since the same people win year after year
Recent Examples on the Web Besides Ugly Betty, Horta was best known for writing the screenplay to 1998 horror-thriller Urban Legend. Ew Staff,, "Stars we lost in 2020," 11 Jan. 2020 The Falcons face Cincinnati Christian Tuesday, with another CMAC thriller set for Friday against Hughes. Scott Springer,, "Moeller tops first media poll in Ohio Division I basketball with La Salle, Aiken, Deer Park also ranked," 6 Jan. 2020 Their decent films rise above the insulting exploitation of Jordan Peele, Chinonye Chukwu, and Lena Waithe’s superstitious thrillers. Armond White, National Review, "The 15th Annual Better-Than List," 3 Jan. 2020 Kentucky has a signature win — an opening-night thriller over then-No. 1 Michigan State, with memorable heroics from freshman guard Tyrese Maxey — but has trended downward since, with two straight losses heading into this weekend's game. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "Ashton Hagans' defense is a problem. How does Louisville basketball match up vs. Kentucky?," 26 Dec. 2019 Parasite This surprise Korean hit about a family of grifters is a gripping, ingeniously constructed thriller that ultimately asks: Who are society’s true parasites — the affluent or the underclass? Tom Gliatto,, "The 10 Best Movies of the Year, According to PEOPLE’s Critic," 26 Dec. 2019 Even though most viewers knew how this story would end, the five-hour miniseries masterfully maintained a sense of dread that no horror or thriller film in recent memory has matched. The Economist, "The best television shows of the year, as chosen by The Economist," 20 Dec. 2019 Every page of this elegant thriller drips with dread. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Best mysteries of 2019: Carole E. Barrowman's picks include Laura Lippman, Attica Locke, Miriam Toews," 13 Dec. 2019 De Niro and Pacino most famously went head to head in Michael Mann’s 1995 crime thriller Heat, both of them slim and handsome and brooding in dark oversize suits. Ryu Spaeth, The New Republic, "The Irishman and Parasite: Two Paths for the Hustle," 11 Dec. 2019

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

1889, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for thriller

Time Traveler

The first known use of thriller was in 1889

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Statistics for thriller

Last Updated

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Thriller.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 17 January 2020.

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More Definitions for thriller


How to pronounce thriller (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of thriller

: a novel, movie, etc., that is very exciting : a story full of exciting action, mystery, adventure, or suspense

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Comments on thriller

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


a plan in which a last survivor takes all

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