[ haw-rip-uh-ley-shuh n, ho- ]
/ hɔˌrɪp əˈleɪ ʃən, hɒ- /


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

Nearby words

  1. horrific,
  2. horrified,
  3. horrify,
  4. horrifying,
  5. horripilate,
  6. horror,
  7. horror show,
  8. horror story,
  9. horror-stricken,
  10. horror-struck

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

Examples from the Web for horripilation

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

    Pemrose Lorry, Camp Fire Girl|Isabel Katherine Hornibrook

British Dictionary definitions for horripilation


/ (hɒˌrɪpɪˈleɪʃən) /

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

Medicine definitions for horripilation


[ 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.