Why was clemency trending last week?


[sen-sey-shuh-nl-iz-uh m] /sɛnˈseɪ ʃə nlˌɪz əm/
subject matter, language, or style producing or designed to produce startling or thrilling impressions or to excite and please vulgar taste.
the use of or interest in this subject matter, language, or style:
The cheap tabloids relied on sensationalism to increase their circulation.
  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.
Psychology, sensationism.
Origin of sensationalism
1840-50; sensational + -ism
Related forms
sensationalist, noun, adjective
sensationalistic, adjective
nonsensationalistic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sensationalist
  • But tales of their savagery and wiliness don't all come from sensationalist authors looking to make a buck.
  • Fly ash being radioactive is bad, why you have to spoil reporting that fact with sensationalist and misleading article.
  • They seem to have jumped on the band wagon of the popular sensationalist press.
  • The sensationalist language in the headline is unacceptable.
  • The article is a little sensationalist but does not miss the point all together.
  • Agree with other posters as to somewhat sensationalist nature of this little blurb.
  • Except that your sensationalist figures are getting ever more bizarre.
  • Evolution has its complications, but it's not so far out of reach that this sensationalist statement should ever have been made.
  • You'll be happy to know that the online media is already twisting the facts with their usual lazy and sensationalist methods.
  • According to the bonehead editor who came up with this sensationalist headline, returned veterans are ticking bombs.
British Dictionary definitions for sensationalist


the use of sensational language, etc, to arouse an intense emotional response
such sensational matter itself
(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
(psychol) the theory that all experience and mental life may be explained in terms of sensations and remembered images
(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 sensationalist

1846 in philosophy; 1868 of writers; from sensational + -ist. Related: Sensationalistic.



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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