Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[free-sohn; French free-sawn] /friˈsõʊ̃; French friˈsɔ̃/
noun, plural frissons
[free-sohnz; French free-sawn] /friˈsõʊ̃z; French friˈsɔ̃/ (Show IPA)
a sudden, passing sensation of excitement; a shudder of emotion; thrill:
The movie offers the viewer the occasional frisson of seeing a character in mortal danger.
Origin of frisson
1770-80; < French: shiver, shudder, Old French friçons (plural) < Late Latin frictiōnem, accusative of frictiō shiver (taken as derivative of frīgēre to be cold), Latin: massage, friction Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for frisson
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • These are the tapestries that grip the heart, that cause a frisson of joy to the beholder.

    The Tapestry Book Helen Churchill Candee
  • No purely physical theory can interpret all the mystery of the frisson.

  • And the appetite that drove her to ask for more, that was the only sauce–an appetite that was a frisson.

    The Missourian

    Eugene P. (Eugene Percy) Lyle
  • Her nourishment was ever the latest “frisson,” to use her own word.

    The Missourian

    Eugene P. (Eugene Percy) Lyle
  • I must have experiences, pictures, that frisson, as the French say.

    The Song of Songs Hermann Sudermann
British Dictionary definitions for frisson


a shudder or shiver; thrill
Word Origin
C18 (but in common use only from C20): literally: shiver
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for frisson

1777, from French frisson, literally "shiver, thrill" (12c.), from Latin frigere "to be cold" (see frigid).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for frisson

Word Value for frisson

Scrabble Words With Friends