\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

So when he was offered the chance this week to take a ride in a 1929 biplane, he was thrilled at the chance to thread the clouds once again. Pam Kragen,, "High-flying fireman, 94, takes to the skies again," 25 May 2018 The Americans were thrilled by a performance of Dmitri Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony, after which the composer took a bow. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Richard Elden Used Newspaper Skills to Find Best Bets in Hedge Funds," 13 July 2018 Wagner’s thrilling take on eerie nautical legend features soprano Marcy Stonikas and Canadian bass-baritone Nathan Berg. Rasputin Todd,, "Things to do this week in Cincinnati: July 2-8," 2 July 2018 So Amer was thrilled when HBO made an offer for his show; HBO had produced specials for several of his heroes. Andrew Dansby, San Antonio Express-News, "Houston comedian Mo Amer has poetry in his blood, and a Netflix special coming up," 26 June 2018 While some fans are thrilled for the couple, others are questioning whether the whirlwind romance will last. Jennifer Earl, Fox News, "Ariana Grande fires back at fan who called her 'dumb' for naming song after fiancé Pete Davidson," 18 June 2018 LONG hours have been the bane of the legal profession for ages; few of them involve thrilling courtroom antics. The Economist, "Law firms climb aboard the AI wagon," 12 July 2018 The historic win was the kind of accomplishment that would have every Croatian thrilled for Sunday’s match against France. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "World Cup fans roast Croatia player who got sent home after the opening match," 11 July 2018 In ensembles that combine pattern and asymmetry, in duets and solos of thrilling contrasts and insistence, the choreography becomes the poems’ outer framework (dance often proceeds at length between stanzas) and their spiritual accompaniment. New York Times, "Review: Pam Tanowitz’s ‘Four Quartets’ Hits Poetic Heights," 8 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

7 Oct 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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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).


evasion of direct action or statement

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