- subject matter, language, or style producing or designed to produce startling or thrilling impressions or to excite and please vulgar taste.
- the use of or interest in this subject matter, language, or style: The cheap tabloids relied on sensationalism to increase their circulation.
- the doctrine that the good is to be judged only by the gratification of the senses.
- the doctrine that all ideas are derived from and are essentially reducible to sensations.
- Psychology. sensationism.
Origin of sensationalism
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for sensationalistic
I am all for criticizing the press, and demanding that we get more depth to a story than a sensationalistic headline.I Blame People Who Blame the Media: Robert McCulloch’s Tone-Deaf Speech
November 25, 2014
They were sensationalistic and vulgar toward DSK, and they were sensationalistic and vulgar toward Anthony Weiner.No Apologies Over DSK
July 5, 2011
What seems surprising to me is not her fame but the sensationalistic aspect of it.Christine at the 'Frat House'
October 13, 2010
- the use of sensational language, etc, to arouse an intense emotional response
- such sensational matter itself
- Also called: sensualism philosophy
- the doctrine that knowledge cannot go beyond the analysis of experience
- ethicsthe doctrine that the ability to gratify the senses is the only criterion of goodness
- psychol the theory that all experience and mental life may be explained in terms of sensations and remembered images
- aesthetics the theory of the beauty of sensuality in the arts
Also called (for senses 3, 4): sensationism
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
Word Origin and History for sensationalistic
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper