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sensation (n.)

1610s, "a reaction to external stimulation of the sense organs," from French sensation (14c.) and directly from Medieval Latin sensationem (nominative sensatio), from Late Latin sensatus "endowed with sense, sensible," from Latin sensus "feeling" (see sense (n.)). Meaning "state of shock, surprise, in a community" first recorded 1779.

The great object of life is sensation -- to feel that we exist, even though in pain. It is this 'craving void' which drives us to gaming -- to battle, to travel -- to intemperate, but keenly felt, pursuits of any description, whose principal attraction is the agitation inseparable from their accomplishment. [Lord Byron, letter, Sept. 6, 1813]

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Definitions of sensation from WordNet

sensation (n.)
an unelaborated elementary awareness of stimulation;
a sensation of touch
Synonyms: esthesis / aesthesis / sense experience / sense impression / sense datum
sensation (n.)
someone who is dazzlingly skilled in any field;
Synonyms: ace / adept / champion / maven / mavin / virtuoso / genius / hotshot / star / superstar / whiz / whizz / wizard / wiz
sensation (n.)
a general feeling of excitement and heightened interest;
anticipation produced in me a sensation somewhere between hope and fear
sensation (n.)
a state of widespread public excitement and interest;
the news caused a sensation
sensation (n.)
the faculty through which the external world is apprehended;
Synonyms: sense / sentience / sentiency / sensory faculty
From wordnet.princeton.edu