\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

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 Auroras are among the most spectacular phenomena in the night sky, thrilling travelers and photographers with wispy displays of green light. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Meet STEVE: The Light Phenomenon That's Not Aurora Borealis," 22 Aug. 2018 Raphael Varane's fantastic header and a goalkeeping howler by Fernando Muslera to gift Antoine Griezmann a goal saw France ease to victory in a far more comfortable outing than the thrilling 4-3 last-16 win over Argentina. Afp,, "Deschamps: France have 'plenty of room for improvement'," 6 July 2018 Those thrilled by Apple's wearable announcements earlier this week need wait no further to snag their new device. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "You can preorder the Apple Watch Series 4 today, starting at $399," 14 Sep. 2018 As the first earth sign of the zodiac, Taureans are thrilled by anything that tantalizes the senses. Allure, "How the Sun's Position In Your Birth Chart Affects Your Zodiac Sign," 14 Aug. 2018 And they like we are gladdened by the sun’s kiss on the water, thrilled by the arrival of a child, and broken when farewell must come. Sean Quinton, The Seattle Times, "‘I have not slept in days’: Readers react to Tahlequah, the mother orca clinging to her dead calf," 5 Aug. 2018 The Browns also have a largely reworked front office, now led by first-year general manager John Dorsey — who, by the way, was probably not thrilled by this development. Tom Schad, USA TODAY, "Cleveland Browns will take center stage on HBO's 'Hard Knocks,' per reports," 17 May 2018 The Warriors, predictably, were thrilled by a move that gives them a player who averaged 25.2 points last season before getting hurt and has averaged 21.5 points and 11 rebounds for his career. Tim Reynolds,, "Warriors set to add DeMarcus Cousins to lineup," 2 July 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

2 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

Comments on thrill

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


to make faulty or ineffective

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