producing or designed to produce a startling effect, strong reaction, intense interest, etc., especially by exaggerated, superficial, or lurid elements: a sensational novel.
extraordinarily good; conspicuously excellent; phenomenal: a sensational quarterback.
of or relating to the senses or sensation.

Origin of sensational

First recorded in 1830–40; sensation + -al1
Related formssen·sa·tion·al·ly, adverbpseu·do·sen·sa·tion·al, adjectiveun·sen·sa·tion·al, adjectiveun·sen·sa·tion·al·ly, adverb

Synonyms for sensational

1. exciting, stimulating.

Antonyms for sensational Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sensational

Contemporary Examples of sensational

Historical Examples of sensational

  • But there is here a chance for the sensational novelist to hang a tale upon.

  • I was nervous, sensational, and theatrical without intending it.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • Well, that's the problem of this sensational, big selling story.

    The Harbor

    Ernest Poole

  • It's your own imagination, Edna,—your sudden and sensational imagination.

    The Mystery of Murray Davenport

    Robert Neilson Stephens

  • Most of the novels and non-scholastic books were of a shoddy, sensational type.

    Cleo The Magnificent

    Louis Zangwill

British Dictionary definitions for sensational



causing or intended to cause intense feelings, esp of curiosity, horror, etcsensational disclosures in the press
informal extremely gooda sensational skater
of or relating to the faculty of sensation
philosophy of or relating to sensationalism
Derived Formssensationally, adverb
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 sensational

"of or pertaining to sensation or the senses," 1840; "aiming at violently excited effects," 1863, from sensation in its secondary sense. Related: Sensationalistic; sensationalistically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper