thrill·​er | \ˈthri-lər \

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

Last year’s World Series between the Astros and Dodgers was a thriller, ending in Houston’s Game 7 victory for its first championship. Jake Seiner, The Seattle Times, "Before things get wild, the MLB postseason from A to Z," 1 Oct. 2018 As a fan of thrillers, what made this one exciting for you? Adam Rathe, Town & Country, "John Cho Takes Us Behind the Scenes of Searching, Summer’s Most Unusual and Gripping Thriller," 21 Aug. 2018 Fall 2018 is, like other autumns before it, shaping up to be a helluva good time for smarter-than-average blockbusters, terrifying thrillers, and prestige drama. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "The Biggest Movies of Fall 2018," 25 July 2018 The stars were misaligned from the start for this frantic, turgid thriller. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web: A New Dragon Tattoo Story’ Review: Blurred Tats," 8 Nov. 2018 The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992) Your next movie night will be complete with this ’90s psychological thriller starring a vengeful nanny attempting to destroy a former boss’s life. Vogue, "The 10 Best (Barely) Scary Movies to Watch If You Can’t Handle Horror Films," 19 Oct. 2018 This conspiracy thriller is about a young CIA analyst (Max Irons) whose brilliant mind turns out to be both a great asset and a great detriment. Sandra Gonzalez, CNN, "8 new shows to watch this summer," 28 May 2018 The mystery-thriller aspects of this novel drive it forward, but readers will also appreciate the veracity of its Alaska setting and the substance of dog racing life. Nancy Lord, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage novelist tells a gothic tale set among dog mushers in Interior Alaska," 16 June 2018 The upcoming action thriller centers on a disgraced NYPD detective, portrayed by Boseman, who is given a shot at redemption after a citywide manhunt for a cop killer. Niki Mcgloster,, "The Quick Read: London Breed Officially Sworn In As San Francisco’s First Black Female Mayor," 12 July 2018

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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Statistics for thriller

Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for thriller

The first known use of thriller was in 1889

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on thriller

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with thriller

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for thriller

Spanish Central: Translation of thriller

Nglish: Translation of thriller for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of thriller for Arabic Speakers

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