Definition of spine-chilling in US English:



  • Inspiring terror or terrified excitement.

    ‘a spine-chilling silence’
    • ‘That's what makes the difference between a roller-coaster thrill of a fright and a spine-chilling haunt.’
    • ‘The very minute she awoke she would begin this relentless spine-chilling howling, her wordless distress all too apparent.’
    • ‘When we first started thinking about making the game, it was because there were none available that captured the moody, spine-chilling atmosphere of the classic horror themes from the early horror movies.’
    • ‘But for those who like their terror on the more sophisticated side, this is elegantly spine-chilling.’
    • ‘As you pass from cell to cell you notice various spine-chilling details: the straitjackets left on the hooks; the bloodstains on the walls; the padded doors which muffled the prisoners' screams.’
    • ‘The London-born star will be appearing in the new Star Wars film in the spine-chilling part of General Grievous.’
    • ‘What the organisers term ‘a spine-chilling, pulse-rising and adrenaline-pumping’ experience comes to Bangalore for the first time.’
    • ‘There was a spine-chilling and ghostly silence.’
    • ‘As first-timers they all receive a formal welcome that begins with the spine-chilling wero (challenge by one of the local warriors) followed by a karanga (call of welcome by one of the local women).’
    • ‘The two pals took up the challenge of a national competition to create ghostly tales, plundering the inner recesses of their imaginations to come up with spine-chilling creations to strike fear into their readers.’
    • ‘And if that's not enough, feel the wind in your hair on The Big One, Europe's tallest and fastest roller coaster that reaches a spine-chilling 85 mph on a 265-foot drop.’
    • ‘And in Journey, the most spine-chilling things suddenly become quite cute again.’
    • ‘Bascom is distant kin, and getting to hear him speak on this disc, introducing the tunes as he recorded them for the Library of Congress in the late 1940s, is spine-chilling.’
    • ‘It's a spine-chilling, fast-paced thriller packed with vivid descriptions of Egypt from the glistening sands of the western desert to the stinking back streets of Cairo.’
    • ‘Even now, he heard shattering pieces of glass, frightful arguments, and spine-chilling words being spat across the room from each of his parents.’
    • ‘When viewed back in the light of 1981, Bottin really created something absolutely terrifying and spine-chilling with his overall Eddie effect.’
    • ‘They told me spine-chilling tales of what they did to informers - or ‘Brussels touts’ as they called those who broke the omerta - the centuries-old Irish code of silence.’
    • ‘I was standing outside the court and, after the life sentence had been given, the enormous crowd, mainly black, burst into cries and shouts of spine-chilling relief and anger, ululating and shouting Amandla!’
    • ‘Interviews with cold-blooded killers, spine-chilling crime-scene photographs and a deluge of gory details make this a favourite for those who are fascinated with the macabre - so it should prove popular.’
    • ‘Mullan has been told many spine-chilling stories since he made the film, but one - about the spectacular cruelty of the industrial schools - haunts him.’
    terrifying, blood-curdling, petrifying, hair-raising, frightening, scaring, chilling, horrifying, fearsome
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/ˈspaɪn ˌtʃɪlɪŋ//ˈspīn ˌCHiliNG/