sen·​sa·​tion·​al | \ sen-ˈsā-shnəl How to pronounce sensational (audio) , -shə-nᵊl \

Definition of sensational

1 : of or relating to sensation or the senses
2 : arousing or tending to arouse (as by lurid details) a quick, intense, and usually superficial interest, curiosity, or emotional reaction sensational tabloid news
3 : exceedingly or unexpectedly excellent or great a sensational talent

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Other Words from sensational

sensationally adverb

Examples of sensational in a Sentence

She looked sensational in her new dress. the sensational news story caused a stir, but after a few days everyone forgot about it
Recent Examples on the Web Trevon Diggs was sensational with a pick-6 that blew the game open in the third quarter and three pass deflections. Dallas News, 28 Sep. 2021 It was repeated like a chorus at the Rose Bowl on that sensational Saturday of a college debut three years ago. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, 17 Sep. 2021 The junior goalkeeper was sensational in three starts last week, not allowing a goal in leading the No. 9 Dons (5-3-3) to two wins and a tie in Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference play. Glenn Graham,, 27 Sep. 2021 Derek reminds everyone that dancing is a perfect way to reclaim joy, and thinks the routine was sensational. Washington Post, 21 Sep. 2021 To Kirkwood, who’s both Black and Asian, the media's tendency to amplify Black Asian violence over Black Asian solidarity can feel misleading and sensational, given the long history of coalition building between the two sides in the Bay Area. NBC News, 19 Feb. 2021 Flora Chen was sensational at the service line with 24 points, punctuated by eight aces for the Raiders in a Patriot League win., 16 Sep. 2021 Kyler Murray was sensational, throwing four touchdown passes and running for one more. Tim Bielik, cleveland, 13 Sep. 2021 After his sensational sophomore season at LSU in 2016, Key had shoulder surgery and took a four-month leave of absence from the school starting in February 2017. Eric Branch, San Francisco Chronicle, 11 Aug. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sensational.' 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 sensational

1807, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of sensational was in 1807

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Last Updated

15 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sensational.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for sensational



English Language Learners Definition of sensational

: causing very great excitement or interest with shocking details
: very excellent or great
: very attractive


sen·​sa·​tion·​al | \ sen-ˈsā-shə-nᵊl How to pronounce sensational (audio) \

Kids Definition of sensational

1 : causing or meant to cause great interest a sensational crime
2 : very or unexpectedly excellent

More from Merriam-Webster on sensational

Nglish: Translation of sensational for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sensational for Arabic Speakers


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