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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


Examples from the Web for thrilled

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • She thrilled to the touch of his lips on her flesh; but she drew her arm away.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • It had been so long since such a touch had thrilled him, so long since any caress had been given him.

    The Little Colonel

    Annie Fellows Johnston

  • It was a badge of courage, whatever it was—a badge which thrilled and horrified me.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • But with most of the party, to be thrilled for a minute was enough.

    It Happened in Egypt

    C. N. Williamson

  • He resumed his labours, thrilled with the sensation of accomplishment.

    The Fortune Hunter

    Louis Joseph Vance

British Dictionary definitions for thrilled


  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

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 thrilled



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

thrilled 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.