Definition of frisson in English:


Pronunciation: /ˈfriːsã//ˈfrɪsɒn/


  • A sudden strong feeling of excitement or fear; a thrill.

    ‘a frisson of excitement’
    • ‘As I put my hand on the sunroom door I felt a sudden frisson of fear.’
    • ‘I always feel a slight frisson when I cross over to the south.’
    • ‘The game has an added frisson because of the opposition.’
    • ‘But I still feel a frisson every time I hear the sound of car wheels on gravel.’
    • ‘The complete lack of a reply or even an acknowledgement sent a frisson of fear sharply through me.’
    • ‘When Kamal made his entry to the accompaniment of drum-beats, a frisson of excitement shot through the crowds.’
    • ‘One local told me that she cannot now drive through Dornoch without feeling a frisson of fear.’
    • ‘Talking about uncertainty is risky because the word itself may send a frisson of fear through many listeners.’
    • ‘He also felt that same frisson of excitement he used to feel before the intelligence forays he had participated in in Paris.’
    • ‘Do you ever have a frisson when you look back at your early work?’
    • ‘But this was going way beyond the seedy frisson of virtual voyeurism.’
    • ‘In the early 1970s a frisson of excitement gripped our family home whenever West Ham football matches were shown on television.’
    • ‘At exactly midday, the cannon is fired and a frisson of excitement runs through the small crowd of tourists gathered on the ramparts.’
    • ‘That would provide the frisson of fear which might otherwise be lacking.’
    • ‘Any kid who ever created fantasies of demolition with their toy cars feels a frisson of delight at the very idea of robot combat.’
    • ‘Without the frisson of danger, however, Brown's illusion was about as compelling as a languid afternoon spent bending spoons.’
    • ‘This score may function passably within the context of the film, but outside it is meaningless, barely raising even a frisson of fear.’
    • ‘There may always be a special frisson of excitement when you think of, talk to or see your friend.’
    • ‘That said, it's a great show, mimicking its subject: vibrant, playful, yet betraying a frisson of menace.’
    • ‘While I don't think it had anything to do with the speed of my passage, it certainly adds a frisson to the ride in retrospect.’


Late 18th century: French, a shiver or thrill.