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from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The bristling of the body hair, as from fear or cold; goose bumps.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A real or fancied bristling of the hair of the head or body, resulting from disease, terror, chilliness, etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A real or fancied bristling of the hair of the head or body, resulting from disease, terror, chilliness, etc.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A contraction of the cutaneous muscles, producing the erection of the hairs and the condition known as cutis anserina or goose-flesh.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. reflex erection of hairs of the skin in response to cold or emotional stress or skin irritation


Late Latin horripilātiō, horripilātiōn-, from Latin horripilātus, past participle of horripilāre, to bristle with hairs : horrēre, to tremble + pilāre, to grow hair (from pilus, hair).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


  • [FN#1] This "horripilation," for which we have the poetical term

    Arabian nights. English

  • What a glorious, delicious, chocolate-rich meaningful word is horripilation!


  • When Jamrkan heard these words, the ears of his heart were opened; his skin shuddered with horripilation and he said, O my lord, what shall I say that

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • And the haunting melody of Lara's theme, Maurice Jarre's ‎ superb composition that runs like a unifying thread through every scene, inspires ‎ horripilation even as we recall the notes! ‎

    Lara's Theme

  • Whether EL ORFANATO will live up to my admittedly high expectations and do the sack-face spook subgenre proud remains to be seen... but it's got all the indications of having ballistic horripilation power.

    Bag your face!

  • My cow-orker Jason Schultz reports on a breaking new DMCA horripilation: a court has ordered a company to stop fixing tape-drives because in so doing, it makes unauthorized access of a copyrighted "Maintenance Code."

    Boing Boing: July 4, 2004 - July 10, 2004 Archives

  • Barbarians in turn, and pressed their thumbs; then he rubbed it on his garment, for their viscous skin gave a rude, soft impression to the touch, a greasy tingling which induced horripilation.


  • Gord felt the hair on the back of his neck rise In horripilation at the nearness of the ray.

    Night Arrant

  • The whole company were in a state of horripilation.

    The Silver Lining A Guernsey Story

  • And the monarch, on beholding that damsel, became surprised, and his raptures produced instant horripilation.

    The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1 Books 1, 2 and 3


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  • JM in researching the word 'horripilation' discovered something that was so awfully, dreadfully, frightful that it made his hair stand on end.

    February 1, 2009

  • ...a sense of horripilation, his hair prickling along his scalp...

    - Malcolm Lowry, October Ferry to Gabriola

    July 30, 2008

  • And yet, when you think of the bumps on the cold, plucked skin of a dressed goose, it's maybe a little less sweet.

    Goose sure is tasty, though.

    January 27, 2008

  • Completely hideous word for goosebumps.

    Goosebumps is so much sweeter. Although now I think about it...a bumping goose? Wtf?

    January 27, 2008

  • The bristling of the body hair, as from fear or cold; goose bumps.

    (Late Latin horripilti, horripiltin, to bristle with hairs : horrre, to tremble + pilre, to grow hair (from pilus, hair).)

    September 23, 2007