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

Example Sentences

His latest novel is a political thriller. those television awards are hardly thrillers since the same people win year after year
Recent Examples on the Web Two of the Stars’ four wins in the series required overtime, including their 3-2 thriller win in Game 5. Denis Gurianov scored the game-winning goal in overtime. Sportsday Staff, Dallas News, 18 May 2023 George is in the middle of shooting his latest film Wolves, a thriller about two lone wolf fixers assigned to the same job, with his Ocean‘s co-star Brad Pitt in Los Angeles. Mario Abad, Robb Report, 17 May 2023 Our amazing director John Curran has created a tense and gripping thriller and Luke Bracey simply ignites the screen and brings the audience along for such a wild ride. Brent Lang, Variety, 17 May 2023 She's also set to star in a few projects, including the YA movie Fashionista and a thriller movie called Thanksgiving. Samantha Olson, Seventeen, 16 May 2023 Based on the Silo series by author Hugh Howey, this sprawling sci-fi thriller takes place in a post-apocalyptic future where humanity has been forced to live underground in massive silos because the air on Earth is too toxic to breathe. Kristen Baldwin,, 12 May 2023 The idea that the endlessly inventive filmmaker-cum-Lone Star DIY godhead would throw his director’s cap into the ring of brain-teasing psychological thrillers is exciting in theory. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 11 May 2023 On Tuesday, Netflix debuted the first photo from Bird Box Barcelona, a spinoff of the 2018 hit post-apocalyptic thriller that starred Sandra Bullock and was based on the 2014 novel by Josh Malerman. Benjamin Vanhoose, Peoplemag, 9 May 2023 Matt Thompson Donnie Darko (2001) Donnie Darko, Richard Kelly’s psychological thriller about time travel and mental health and, maybe just maybe, the apocalypse, takes place in 1988. Spin Staff, SPIN, 2 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'thriller.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1889, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of thriller was in 1889

Dictionary Entries Near thriller

Cite this Entry

“Thriller.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


thril·​ler ˈthril-ər How to pronounce thriller (audio)
: one that thrills
especially : a work of fiction or drama with a great deal of action, mystery, adventure, or suspense

More from Merriam-Webster on thriller

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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