[ haw-rip-uh-leyt, ho- ]
/ h蓴藞r瑟p 蓹藢le瑟t, h蓲- /
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verb (used with object), hor路rip路i路lat路ed, hor路rip路i路lat路ing.
to produce horripilation on.
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Origin of horripilate

First recorded in 1615鈥25, horripilate is from the Latin word horripil膩tus (past participle of horripil膩re to become bristly). See horrify, pile3, -ate1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2022


What does聽horripilate mean?

Horripilate is a technical term meaning to make the hair stand up鈥攖o trigger goose bumps. It can also mean to experience this鈥攖o get goose bumps.

This can happen due to cold, fear, or excitement. The process or an instance of this is called horripilation (or piloerection).

Horripilation doesn鈥檛 only happen in humans. When some animals get startled or threatened, their fur raises in response. (When the fur becomes raised in this way on the neck, such as on a dog or cat, we say they鈥檝e raised their hackles.)

The same thing happens in humans, and is usually most noticeable in places where we don鈥檛 have much hair or the hair is very fine, such as the arms and neck.

Example: Horror movies have the power to horripilate the viewer.

Where does聽horripilate come from?

The first records of the word horripilate come from the 1600s. It comes from the Latin verb horripil膩re, 鈥渢o become bristly.鈥 The first part comes from the Latin verb horr膿re, 鈥渢o stand on end,鈥 鈥渢o tremble,鈥 or 鈥渢o bristle with fear.鈥 The second part comes from the Latin pilus, meaning 鈥渉air鈥 (the pilo- part of piloerection can be traced back to the same root). The word horror (and related words like horrify and horrific) also derives from horr膿re and is based on hair standing on end due to fear.

Horripilation in response to being scared has led to the term hair-raising to describe a frightening experience. Biologically speaking, things that horripilate cause an involuntary reaction called the pilomotor reflex. It involves the contraction of tiny muscles at the base of each hair follicle called arrector聽pili (a name that鈥檚 based on the same roots as piloerection). This contraction results in the hairs standing up. When there鈥檚 no hair there or the hairs are very small, this reaction appears as bumps on the skin. These bumps are said to resemble those on the skin of a goose that has had its feathers plucked, hence the name goose bumps.

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What are some other forms related to horripilate?

What are some words that share a root or word element with horripilate?聽

What are some words that often get used in discussing horripilate?

How is聽horripilate used in real life?

Horripilate is a technical term. In everyday conversation, people usually just say that something gave them goose bumps.



Try using聽horripilate!

Which of the following things can horripilate?

A. fear
B. cold
C. excitement
D. all of the above