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See more synonyms for thrill on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to affect with a sudden wave of keen emotion or excitement, as to produce a tremor or tingling sensation through the body.
  2. to utter or send forth tremulously, as a melody.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to affect one with a wave of emotion or excitement.
  2. to be stirred by a tremor or tingling sensation of emotion or excitement: He thrilled at the thought of home.
  3. to cause a prickling or tingling sensation; throb.
  4. to move tremulously; vibrate; quiver.
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  1. a sudden wave of keen emotion or excitement, sometimes manifested as a tremor or tingling sensation passing through the body.
  2. something that produces or is capable of producing such a sensation: a story full of thrills.
  3. a thrilling experience: It was a thrill to see Paris again.
  4. a vibration or quivering.
  5. Pathology. an abnormal tremor or vibration, as in the respiratory or vascular system.
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Origin of thrill

1250–1300; Middle English thrillen orig., to penetrate, metathetic variant of thirlen to thirl
Related formssub·thrill, nounun·thrilled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for thrill

fun, pleasure, inspiration, adventure, wallop, tickle, inspire, electrify, enchant, wow, delight, titillate, animate, upper, flash, twitter, lift, circus, bang, refreshment

Examples from the Web for thrill

Contemporary Examples of thrill

Historical Examples of thrill

  • There came a thrill in her heart each time she thought of that—that she loved him.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • He clapped his hands, with that thrill of joy which true art will ever give to a true artist.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • The discovery of Tillie's hiding-place interested but did not thrill him.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • The great voice had not caused him to feel any thrill or emotion whatever.

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • With his pretty, joyous carol, which should thrill the heart of men?

British Dictionary definitions for thrill


  1. a sudden sensation of excitement and pleasureseeing his book for sale gave him a thrill
  2. a situation producing such a sensationit was a thrill to see Rome for the first time
  3. a trembling sensation caused by fear or emotional shock
  4. pathol an abnormal slight tremor associated with a heart or vascular murmur, felt on palpation
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  1. to feel or cause to feel a thrill
  2. to tremble or cause to tremble; vibrate or quiver
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Word Origin for thrill

Old English thӯrlian to pierce, from thyrel hole; see nostril, through
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 thrill


c.1300, "to pierce, penetrate," metathesis of Old English þyrlian, from þyrel "hole" (in Middle English, also "nostril"), from þurh "through" (cf. Middle High German dürchel "pierced, perforated;" see through) + -el. Meaning "give a shivering, exciting feeling" is first recorded 1590s, via metaphoric notion of "pierce with emotion." Related: Thrilled; thrilling.

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"a shivering, exciting feeling," 1670s, from thrill (v.). Meaning "a thrilling experience" is attested from 1936.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

thrill in Medicine


  1. The vibration accompanying a cardiac or vascular murmur, detectible on palpation.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.