[haw-rip-uh-ley-shuh n, ho-]


a bristling of the hair on the skin from cold, fear, etc.; goose bumps.

Origin of horripilation

First recorded in 1615–25, horripilation is from the Late Latin word horripilātiōn- (stem of horripilātiō). See horripilate, -ion
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for horripilation

heebie-jeebies, creeps, gooseflesh, jimjams, willies

Examples from the Web for horripilation

Historical Examples of horripilation

  • But, suddenly, through all the horripilation there seemed to shine a light.

    Pemrose Lorry, Camp Fire Girl

    Isabel Katherine Hornibrook

  • The boy who saved her, the boy with the jolly tongue in his head, humorous amid the “horripilation,” had addressed it as Dad.

    Pemrose Lorry, Camp Fire Girl

    Isabel Katherine Hornibrook

British Dictionary definitions for horripilation


noun physiol

a technical name for goose flesh
the erection of any short bodily hairs

Word Origin for horripilation

C17: from Late Latin horripilātiō a bristling, from Latin horrēre to stand on end + pilus hair
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 horripilation

from Late Latin horripilationem (nominative horripilatio), noun of action from past participle stem of horripilare, from stem of horrere "to bristle" (see horror) + pilus "hair" (see pile (n.3)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

horripilation in Medicine


[hô-rĭp′ə-lāshən, hŏ-]


The bristling of body hair, as from cold; goose bumps.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.