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

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 To get to the Final Four in the first of back-to-back seasons, the Badgers had to eke past top-seeded Arizona in the Elite Eight, with a 64-63 thriller in overtime. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 16 Nov. 2021 On paper, at least, Seized sounds like a paint-by-numbers action thriller, and garnered reviews that tend to bear that out. Andy Meek, BGR, 15 Nov. 2021 Lawson Crouse scored the winner with 1:05 to play, his second goal of the night only 13 seconds after the Kraken had tied the game, and the Coyotes won a thriller, 5-4. José M. Romero, The Arizona Republic, 8 Nov. 2021 At the very least, Yellowjackets—a superb Showtime thriller that riffs on Flies without repeating it—suggests the author’s benevolent gender essentialism might have been a mistake. Judy Berman, Time, 5 Nov. 2021 Magar’s production glides along under Riccardo Hernández’s billboard-size screens, and even with new material, Smith’s script races forward like a thriller. Helen Shaw, Vulture, 1 Nov. 2021 The Chicago Bulls lost their first game of the season on Thursday night, a 104-103 thriller against the New York Knicks. Jason Patt, Forbes, 30 Oct. 2021 In 1999, after the two governments conducted nuclear tests, Indian spectators gave the Pakistani team a standing ovation after the visitors clinched a thriller in Chennai. Washington Post, 29 Oct. 2021 The shiny embossed titles of the books on the spinning rack at an airport kiosk promise a hit of reliable pleasure to readers craving a Robert Ludlum thriller or a Nora Roberts love story. Parul Sehgal, The New Yorker, 25 Oct. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near thriller

thrilled to death/pieces



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Statistics for thriller

Last Updated

21 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Thriller.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for thriller



English Language Learners Definition of thriller

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

More from Merriam-Webster on thriller

Nglish: Translation of thriller for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of thriller for Arabic Speakers


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