Definition of thrill in English:

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Pronunciation: /θrɪl/


1A sudden feeling of excitement and pleasure: the thrill of jumping out of an aeroplane
More example sentences
  • He felt the thrill and excitement tingle up his back and he gave a small shiver, stepping closer to her.
  • Even when it came, the first 0-0 draw of the World Cup between world champions France and Uruguay, was full of thrills, drama and excitement.
  • For the growing tribe of philatelists in the city, stamp collection provides a window to the world with all the thrills and pleasures of an educative and fascinating hobby.
(feeling of) excitement, thrilling experience, stimulation, sensation, glow, tingle, titillation;
fun, enjoyment, amusement, delight, joy, pleasure, treat, adventure
informal buzz, kick
North American informal charge
1.1An experience that produces a sudden feeling of excitement and pleasure: to ride a winner is always a thrill
More example sentences
  • The thrill and sheer experience of Rome is very distinctive and unique.
  • That experience was a thrill for me, especially when he commented that I caught on rather quickly to things that had taken him most of his childhood to master.
  • Listening to Scott's deep pride and simple joy as she described her Olympic experience was a thrill.
1.2A wave or nervous tremor of emotion or sensation: a thrill of excitement ran through her
More example sentences
  • But most of all I'm getting thrills of emotions that I haven't felt for such a long time, that I'd almost forgotten.
  • At points it hugs the very edge of the rim, giving me a nervous thrill.
  • Hikari knew the striking thrill of emotion before she could even think about it.
tremor, wave, rush, surge, flash, flush, blaze, stab, dart, throb, tremble, quiver, flutter, shudder, vibration;
flow, gush, stream, flood, torrent
2 Medicine A vibratory movement or resonance heard through a stethoscope.
Example sentences
  • Stenosis in the artery causes a swishing sound, which is heard as a bruit on auscultation and also may be felt as a thrill or slight vibration in the vessel on palpation.
  • This systolic thrill is associated with an ejection type murmur heard best over the pulmonary area.
  • A precordial thrill, machinery-like murmur, and right bundle branch block were noted.
2.1 archaic A throb or pulsation.


1 [with object] Cause (someone) to have a sudden feeling of excitement and pleasure: his kiss thrilled and excited her they were thrilled with the results I’m thrilled to bits
More example sentences
  • For their part, the people were thrilled with their new Queen.
  • I answer all me fan mail personally and I believe in that, because I'm thrilled to bits.
  • But you know, we're just thrilled with the success that the show has had.
excite, stimulate, arouse, rouse, inspire, give joy to, delight, give pleasure to, stir (up), exhilarate, intoxicate, electrify, galvanize, move, motivate, fire (with enthusiasm), fire someone's imagination, fuel, brighten, animate, lift, quicken
informal give someone a buzz, give someone a kick
North American informal give someone a charge
exciting, stirring, action-packed, rip-roaring, gripping, riveting, fascinating, dramatic, hair-raising, rousing, lively, animated, spirited, stimulating, moving, inspiring, inspirational, electrifying, passionate, impassioned, emotive, emotional, emotion-charged, heady, soul-stirring;
North American  stem-winding
rare inspiriting, anthemic
1.1 [no object] Experience a sudden feeling of excitement and pleasure: thrill to the magic of the world 's greatest guitarist
More example sentences
  • Contempt is a daring idea to build a character around, much less a whole movie, and you thrill to Norton's hyperactive rant, his attitude.
  • What urban child doesn't thrill to the idea of clear pools and islands, the cleanness, the space, the apparently ownerless wilderness that they can call their own?
  • We thrill to their victories, commit their most heroic moments to memory, defend our favourite players with almost theological passion.
2 [no object, with adverbial] (Of an emotion or sensation) pass with a nervous tremor: the shock of alarm thrilled through her
More example sentences
  • He thrust the sheets back into the portfolio, and a strange feeling of pain thrilled through him.
  • Exquisite pleasure thrilled through every nerve in my body.
  • As she watched his back disappear, an emotion thrilled up into her chest.
2.1 [no object] literary Quiver or throb.
be/feel excited, tingle, feel joy
informal get a buzz out of, get a kick out of
North American informal get a charge out of
rush, race, surge, cascade, course, flood, flow, gush, wash, well up, sweep, flash, blaze, throb, quiver, shiver, flutter, shudder, vibrate



the thrill of the chase

Pleasure and excitement derived from seeking something desired, especially a sexual partner: I was so lost in the thrill of the chase that I didn’t realize we were entirely incompatible
More example sentences
  • Women want to revisit the passion and lust of a new physical relationship and enjoy the thrill of the chase.
  • Sportsmen, seeking the thrill of the chase, released rabbits, hares and foxes.
  • They enjoy the pageantry, the horsemanship and the countryside. They relish the thrill of the chase, but stress that they derive pleasure from hunting, not killing.

thrills and spills

Excitement and exhilaration, especially when derived from dangerous sports or entertainments: experience the thrills and spills of water sports
More example sentences
  • Held in beautiful Danson Park, in Danson Road, Welling, the festival will be packed full of enough fun, entertainment, thrills and spills to suit everyone.
  • Organisers are expecting 70 to 80 craft to compete and hundreds watching as it is a spectator sport with plenty of thrills and spills on offer.
  • But what attracts ordinary people to the thrills and spills of adventure sports?


Middle English (as a verb in the sense 'pierce or penetrate'): alteration of dialect thirl 'pierce'.

  • In medieval times thrill meant ‘to pierce, penetrate’, and the word is related to through and thorough. The sense ‘to affect with a sudden feeling of excitement and pleasure’ dates back to the 17th century, but it was not until the early 20th century that someone delighted could say ‘I'm thrilled!’ The first thrillers were exciting plays in the 1880s.

Words that rhyme with thrill

bill, Brazil, brill, Camille, chill, cookchill, dill, distil (US distill), downhill, drill, Edgehill, Estoril, fill, freewill, frill, fulfil (US fulfill), Gill, goodwill, grill, grille, hill, ill, instil, kill, krill, mil, mill, nil, Phil, pill, quadrille, quill, rill, Seville, shill, shrill, sill, skill, spadille, spill, squill, still, stock-still, swill, thill, till, trill, twill, until, uphill, will

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