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a. The use of sensational matter or methods, especially in writing, journalism, or politics.
b. Sensational subject matter.
c. Interest in or the effect of such subject matter.
2. Philosophy The theory that sensation is the only source of knowledge.
3. The ethical doctrine that feeling is the only criterion of good.

sen·sa′tion·al·ist n.
sen·sa′tion·al·is′tic adj.


1. the use of sensational language, etc, to arouse an intense emotional response
2. such sensational matter itself
3. (Philosophy) philosophy
a. the doctrine that knowledge cannot go beyond the analysis of experience
b. ethics the doctrine that the ability to gratify the senses is the only criterion of goodness
4. (Psychology) psychol the theory that all experience and mental life may be explained in terms of sensations and remembered images
5. (Philosophy) aesthetics the theory of the beauty of sensuality in the arts
Also called (for senses 3, 4): sensationism
senˈsationalist n, adj
senˌsationalˈistic adj


(sɛnˈseɪ ʃə nlˌɪz əm)

1. the use of sensational subject matter or style.
2. the philosophic doctrine that the good is to be judged only by the gratification of the senses.
sen•sa′tion•al•ist, n., adj.
sen•sa`tion•al•is′tic, adj.


1. the doctrine that all ideas are derived from and essentially reducible to sense perceptions. Also called sensuism.
2. Ethics. the doctrine that the good is to be judged only by or through the gratification of the senses. Also called sensualism. See also ethics; literary style; media. — sensationalist, n.sensationalistic, adj.
See also: Philosophy
1. the use of subject matter, language, or style designed to amaze or thrill. See also media; philosophy,
2. such subject matter, language, or style itself. — sensationalist, n. — sensationalistic, adj.
See also: Literary Style
sensualism. — sensationalist, n.
See also: Ethics
the act of shocking or intent to shock, especially through the media; the practice of using startling but superficial efïects, in art, literature, etc., to gain attention. See also literary style; philosophy. — sensationalist, n.
See also: Media
the act of shocking or intent to shock, especially through the media; the practice of using startling but superficial effects, in art, literature, etc., to gain attention. See also literature; media. — sensationalist, n.
See also: Art
yellow journalism.
See also: Language Style



blood and thunder Melodrama, sensationalism. Of U. S. origin, the expression capsulizes the stock terror-inducing devices and stage effects common to works of the genre.

Mrs. Bill, left to herself, resumed reading a blood and thunder romance. (Quinland, 1857)

penny dreadful A cheap, sensational novel of adventure, crime, violence, or sex; a trashy, pornographic, or blood-and-guts magazine or newspaper. This British colloquialism is aptly defined by James Hotten in The Dictionary of Modern Slang, Cant, and Vulgar Words (1873):

Those penny publications which depend more upon sensationalism than upon merit, artistic or literary, for success.

Although such writings no longer cost a penny, the expression persists. A collection of penny dreadfuls is sometimes sold in books nicknamed shilling shockers. A more modern American variation is dime novel, though even this expression has been dated by inflation.

yellow journalism Media coverage that concentrates on the gory and gruesome, blatantly appealing to the public’s basest curiosities; flagrant bias and distortion in presenting the news, so as to attract purchasers or otherwise achieve personal gain for the publisher. Many employ the term rather loosely today in disparaging reference to any reporting they consider unfair or “nonobjective.” Though the expression gained popularity during the era of muckraking, much of which was attributed to the Hearst syndicate, its origin is rather innocuous, deriving from an early experiment in color printing on newsprint. In 1895 The New York World published an edition containing a cartoon of a child in a yellow dress, captioned “The Yellow Kid.” Such a novelty was naturally designed to attract buyers, but it was a far cry from tabloids catering to the market for mutilation and perversion—today’s “yellow journalism.”


The theory that all our knowledge derives ultimately from the senses
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.sensationalism - subject matter that is calculated to excite and please vulgar tastes
subject matter, content, message, substance - what a communication that is about something is about
2.sensationalism - the journalistic use of subject matter that appeals to vulgar tastes; "the tabloids relied on sensationalism to maintain their circulation"
journalese - the style in which newspapers are written
3.sensationalism - (philosophy) the ethical doctrine that feeling is the only criterion for what is good
philosophy - the rational investigation of questions about existence and knowledge and ethics
philosophical doctrine, philosophical theory - a doctrine accepted by adherents to a philosophy
4.sensationalism - (philosophy) the doctrine that knowledge derives from experience
British empiricism - the predominant philosophical tradition in Great Britain since the 17th century
experimentalism - an empirical doctrine that advocates experimental principles
logical positivism, positivism - the form of empiricism that bases all knowledge on perceptual experience (not on intuition or revelation)
philosophy - the rational investigation of questions about existence and knowledge and ethics
philosophical doctrine, philosophical theory - a doctrine accepted by adherents to a philosophy


[senˈseɪʃnəlɪzəm] Nsensacionalismo m


[sɛnˈseɪʃənəlɪzəm] nsensationnalisme m


n (of paper, reporter etc)Sensationsmache f (inf); (of reader)Sensationsgier f; the cheap sensationalism of his styledie billige Effekthascherei in seinem Stil


[sɛnˈseɪʃnəˌlɪzm] n (pej) (of reporting) → sensazionalismo
References in classic literature ?
And yet," said I, smiling, "I cannot quite hold myself absolved from the charge of sensationalism which has been urged against my records.
At the same time," he remarked after a pause, during which he had sat puffing at his long pipe and gazing down into the fire, "you can hardly be open to a charge of sensationalism, for out of these cases which you have been so kind as to interest yourself in, a fair proportion do not treat of crime, in its legal sense, at all.
Locke cannot be truly regarded as the author of sensationalism any more than of idealism.
There is a lack of seriousness of purpose, an increasing tendency to return, in more morbid spirit, to the sensationalism of the 1580's, and an anxious straining to attract and please the audiences by almost any means.
Rather, I found sensationalism, sensationalism and just sensationalism.
Media outlets are often very rightly blamed for sensationalism in news coverage.
The Macedonian equivalent of circus performances are trials, arrests, and sensationalism associated with well-known persons, who should satisfied the thirst for entertainment of the masses of people.
The Pope said that journalism must prize truth and reflection over sensationalism and clamor.
There was no sensationalism, and there was no need for any.
This campaign serves as manipulative sensationalism and is intended to create a false image for these events in the Assembly, but BDI's parliamentary group led by leader Ali Ahmeti approves the policies of the new parliamentary majority and pledges for the creation of a new reform government", commented from BDI.
Dr Mohammad Gull, a native Pakistan settled in the UK, on the accession said that the projection of content carrying sensationalism by media cast inverse impacts on human minds with special regard to the youth and children.
DAVAO CITY -- Leading presidential candidate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday morning hit the media for sensationalism and for being biased.