Definition of thriller in English:



  • 1A novel, play, or film with an exciting plot, typically involving crime or espionage.

    ‘a tense thriller about a diamond heist that goes badly wrong’
    ‘spy thrillers’
    • ‘Novels, even spy thrillers, don't have to take up questions like this.’
    • ‘This thriller of thrillers is a study of human conflict, jealousy and manipulation, which promises to baffle the most proficient sleuth.’
    • ‘A blacklisted American, Losey was making low budget thrillers and crime stories in the UK.’
    • ‘It is not a thriller or a mystery or an action film or a crime film, nor any kind of ordinary drama or melodrama.’
    • ‘Spy stories, thrillers and crime novels can often be far more realistic about how politics works.’
    • ‘I like more mystery thrillers and psychological thrillers.’
    • ‘As a thriller, the film has an inevitability that cannot be rerouted.’
    • ‘Essentially they used the noir style of 1940s Hollywood thrillers to tell a story set in 1960s swinging London.’
    • ‘And like us, it has decided to theme the season on whodunits and psycho thrillers.’
    • ‘Not surprisingly, Cinepix began to wind down its sexploitation films in favour of thrillers and horror as early as 1972.’
    • ‘Clever thrillers that flirt with film noir are always welcome, but this is too smart for its own good.’
    • ‘Caper films and crime thrillers just don't try and keep the audience on a piece of string this long.’
    • ‘Many spy thrillers make the espionage business look like a blast, but nothing here comes across as fun.’
    • ‘In many ways it would have fitted perfectly into the '90s craze for post-modern crime thrillers.’
    • ‘Next up for Lewis is a starring role alongside Robert Redford and Jennifer Lopez in a thriller due to be filmed later this year.’
    • ‘I read village mysteries and hard-boiled American private eye novels, spy thrillers and police procedurals.’
    • ‘It is a whodunnit and a thriller with thrills and fun for audience and actors alike.’
    • ‘In adherence with the film's title Mamet has filled his thriller not with characters but with faces.’
    • ‘Into The Blue's story line is not much different from most action thrillers with a plot centred around the drug trade.’
    • ‘If your taste in genre is the ‘coming of age’ story rather than Westerns, thrillers or campus novels, you will quite possibly love this book.’
    detective novel, detective story, murder story
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A very exciting contest or experience.
      ‘a seven-goal thriller’
      • ‘Keighley Lifts just missed out on the points in a five goal thriller.’
      • ‘In a high scoring cut and thrust thriller the St. Patrick's boys ran out six points winners.’
      • ‘Chorley and Rossendale United go head to head tomorrow in a game that has all the ingredients for a New Year derby thriller.’
      • ‘Manchester United survived a Leeds fight-back to record a vital win in a seven goal thriller at Elland Road.’
      • ‘It would have been a travesty had either side lost this out and out thriller.’
      • ‘No soldier has done it more powerfully than the controversial boy thriller Michael Jackson.’
      • ‘What a match and no wonder the RFL have turned down Sky's bid after this thriller.’
      • ‘Keith lost ground away to Cove who overtook them in the table in a five goal thriller.’
      • ‘Here again, another little, mini thriller was played out as both teams fought it out to the finish.’
      • ‘Leatherhead came out on top after a remarkable nine-goal thriller at Fetcham Grove on Saturday.’
      • ‘For the fact of the matter is that Saturday's thriller against New Zealand was not a discrete event.’
      • ‘The third and deciding game between the clubs could be another thriller.’
      • ‘In a five goal thriller played at Ozier Park, they had to come from an early goal down to win the final.’
      • ‘Villa's climb up the table continued in this five goal thriller in Mullarney.’
      • ‘Poor defending cost the Rams this seven goal thriller, as it was a game they could and should have won.’