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From Old French, from Medieval Latin sensatio, from Latin sensus.



sensation (plural sensations)

  1. A physical feeling or perception from something that comes into contact with the body; something sensed.
    • 1910, Emerson Hough, chapter 1, The Purchase Price:
      Captain Edward Carlisle, soldier as he was, martinet as he was, felt a curious sensation of helplessness seize upon him as he met her steady gaze, her alluring smile ; he could not tell what this prisoner might do.
    • 1921, Bertrand Russell, The Analysis of Mind:
      Confining ourselves, for the moment, to sensations, we find that there are different degrees of publicity attaching to different sorts of sensations. If you feel a toothache when the other people in the room do not, you are in no way surprised; but if you hear a clap of thunder when they do not, you begin to be alarmed as to your mental condition.
  2. A widespread reaction of interest or excitement.
    • 1905, Baroness Emmuska Orczy, chapter 2, The Tremarn Case[1]:
      “Two or three months more went by ; the public were eagerly awaiting the arrival of this semi-exotic claimant to an English peerage, and sensations, surpassing those of the Tichbourne case, were looked forward to with palpitating interest. […]”
    • 1937, H. P. Lovecraft, The Thing on the Doorstep:
      Young Derby's odd genius developed remarkably, and in his eighteenth year his collected nightmare-lyrics made a real sensation when issued under the title Azathoth and Other Horrors.


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From Medieval Latin sensationem, accusative of sensatio, from Latin sensus.



sensation f (plural sensations)

  1. sensation