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sensationalism

[sen-sey-shuh-nl-iz-uh m] /sɛnˈseɪ ʃə nlˌɪz əm/
noun
1.
subject matter, language, or style producing or designed to produce startling or thrilling impressions or to excite and please vulgar taste.
2.
the use of or interest in this subject matter, language, or style:
The cheap tabloids relied on sensationalism to increase their circulation.
3.
Philosophy.
  1. the doctrine that the good is to be judged only by the gratification of the senses.
  2. the doctrine that all ideas are derived from and are essentially reducible to sensations.
4.
Psychology, sensationism.
Origin of sensationalism
1840-1850
1840-50; sensational + -ism
Related forms
sensationalist, noun, adjective
sensationalistic, adjective
nonsensationalistic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for sensationalism

sensationalism

/sɛnˈseɪʃənəˌlɪzəm/
noun
1.
the use of sensational language, etc, to arouse an intense emotional response
2.
such sensational matter itself
3.
(philosophy) Also called sensualism
  1. the doctrine that knowledge cannot go beyond the analysis of experience
  2. (ethics) the doctrine that the ability to gratify the senses is the only criterion of goodness
4.
(psychol) the theory that all experience and mental life may be explained in terms of sensations and remembered images
5.
(aesthetics) the theory of the beauty of sensuality in the arts
Also called (for senses 3, 4) sensationism
Derived Forms
sensationalist, noun, adjective
sensationalistic, adjective
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 sensationalism
n.

1846 in philosophy, "theory that sensation is the only source of knowledge;" 1865, of journalism that aims to excite the feelings, from sensational + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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