Definition of scream in English:

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Pronunciation: /skrēm/


[no object]
1Give a long, loud, piercing cry or cries expressing excitement, great emotion, or pain: they could hear him screaming in pain (as adjective screaming) a houseful of barking dogs and screaming children
More example sentences
  • The victim's older brother recalled seeing his brother in the garden seconds before he heard him screaming in pain.
  • I went outside and phoned all our friends and family, and came back to the ward to hear your mother screaming with pain.
  • I screamed when the pain began then bit my bottom lip refusing to scream again.
1.1 [reporting verb] Cry something in a high-pitched, frenzied way: [no object]: I ran to the house screaming for help [with direct speech]: “Get out!” he screamed [with object]: he screamed abuse into the phone
More example sentences
  • There are the odd occasions where they shout and scream abuse and are taken off to Westlea Police Station.
  • He was driven to Harrogate police station screaming abuse throughout the journey.
  • If most of your weekends are spent watching the footy and screaming instructions and abuse at the players on TV, then why not put your vast football knowledge to better use.
shriek, screech, yell, howl, shout, bellow, bawl, cry out, call out, yelp, squeal, wail, squawk
informal holler
1.2Urgently and vociferously call attention to one’s views or feelings, especially ones of anger or distress: [with clause]: his supporters scream that he is being done an injustice figurative the creative side of me is screaming out for attention
More example sentences
  • At some point, though, our inner lives may scream for our attention, and this can come as a complete surprise.
  • A small child in the back room screams for attention, waking another child in the cradle in the far side of the living room.
  • A thousand questions are screaming for attention at the back of my skull, and it's hard ignoring them all.
1.3Make a loud, high-pitched sound: sirens were screaming from all over the city
More example sentences
  • The sirens screamed even louder as the ambulance had arrived.
  • The loud sirens screamed through the quiet night lighting up everything in its path.
  • There are firetrucks and ambulances everywhere, sirens screaming.
1.4Move very rapidly with or as if with a loud, high-pitched sound: a shell screamed overhead
More example sentences
  • He launched himself into a spectacular overhead kick that screamed past Walker into the Walsall net.
  • The young Spaniard swung at it and sent the ball screaming past the helpless Gianluigi Buffon and into the left-hand side of the Juve goal.
  • Overhead, salvo after salvo of heavy shells screamed through the sky from Allied warships pounding German positions.


1A long, loud, piercing cry expressing extreme emotion or pain: they were awakened by screams for help
More example sentences
  • She winced every time she heard the loud screams of heart-break and pain that exploded from Mrs. Lane's mouth.
  • He had been told to ‘mind his own business’ when he complained about the police brutality after having heard the screams of pain from his brother.
  • As the door swung closed, they could hear screams of pain.
shriek, screech, yell, howl, shout, bellow, bawl, cry, yelp, squeal, wail, squawk
informal holler
1.1A high-pitched cry made by an animal: the screams of the seagulls
More example sentences
  • A low rumbling and high-pitched scream of an animal came from somewhere out in the fog.
  • He grabbed it around the neck and the animal let out a scream of fear.
  • Alain cupped his ears as the creature's high pitched scream shattered every window pane in the room.
1.2A loud, piercing sound: the scream of a falling bomb
More example sentences
  • Then the world was reduced to a maddening thrum frequently pierced by the high-pitched scream of generators.
  • They weren't really alarms; they were more like high-pitched whistles or screams.
  • From the hallway, the high-pitched screams of the heart monitor could be clearly heard and it resonated in Lucas' ears.
1.3 [in singular] informal An irresistibly funny person, thing, or situation: the movie’s a scream
More example sentences
  • Some of the perfunctory descriptions they offer of the movies they sell on DVD are a scream.
  • According to my sources, the movie, titled In The Closet, is a real scream.
laugh, hoot
informal gas, giggle, riot, laff riot, bundle of fun/laughs, blast
wit, hoot, comedian, comic, entertainer, joker, clown, character
informal gas, riot
informal,, dated caution, card


Middle English: origin uncertain; perhaps from Middle Dutch.

Words that rhyme with scream

abeam, agleam, beam, blaspheme, bream, deem, deme, downstream, dream, esteem, extreme, gleam, hakim, kilim, meme, midstream, Nîmes, régime, scheme, seam, seem, steam, stream, supreme, team, teem, theme, upstream

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: scream

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