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[free-sohn; French free-sawn] /friˈsõʊ̃; French friˈsɔ̃/
noun, plural frissons
[free-sohnz; French free-sawn] /friˈsõʊ̃z; French friˈsɔ̃/ (Show IPA)
a sudden, passing sensation of excitement; a shudder of emotion; thrill:
The movie offers the viewer the occasional frisson of seeing a character in mortal danger.
Origin of frisson
1770-80; < French: shiver, shudder, Old French friçons (plural) < Late Latin frictiōnem, accusative of frictiō shiver (taken as derivative of frīgēre to be cold), Latin: massage, friction Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for frisson
  • The variety is entertaining and always adds a degree of frisson.
  • There is a difference in that frisson one gets in being a little bad and being amoral.
  • The multicultural frisson is no more than a happy by-product.
  • My call was a freebie, and so was missing this essential frisson.
  • Add an uneven performance from the kitchen and the food doesn't live up to the frisson.
  • If anything there is an added frisson from the threat hanging over such crimes.
  • Montenegrins know full well they have sent a frisson down many spines with their latest declaration.
  • But that proposal doesn't inspire quite the left-right frisson that minimum wage arguments do.
  • The invigorating auction enjoyed the extra frisson of preemptions.
  • There's a new shift in the politics of food, not quite a movement yet, more of an eco-culinary frisson.
British Dictionary definitions for frisson


a shudder or shiver; thrill
Word Origin
C18 (but in common use only from C20): literally: shiver
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
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Word Origin and History for frisson

1777, from French frisson, literally "shiver, thrill" (12c.), from Latin frigere "to be cold" (see frigid).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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