Share this entry

Share this page

shriek

Syllabification: shriek
Pronunciation: /SHrēk
 
/

Definition of shriek in English:

verb

[no object]
1Utter a high-pitched piercing sound or words, especially as an expression of terror, pain, or excitement: the audience shrieked with laughter [with direct speech]: “There it is!” she shrieked [with object]: she was shrieking abuse at a taxi driver
More example sentences
  • Chehl tried to get free, shrieking in pain and terror, but he couldn't break loose.
  • I shrieked with laughter, which is what you do with Rosemary, for her own contagious laugh is as big as she is.
  • Sadie shrieked with laughter, and looked up to the sky.
Synonyms
scream, screech, squeal, squawk, roar, howl, shout, yelp
informal holler
1.1(Of something inanimate) make a high-pitched screeching sound: the wheels shrieked as the car sped away
More example sentences
  • The wheels of the car shrieked in protest as Khanor slammed on the brakes, nearly spinning out.
  • They are the squeaky wheels shrieking for grease.
  • The screeching metal sounded like innocent angels shrieking and crying from being excommunicated from the riches and comforts of their heaven.
1.2Be very obvious or strikingly discordant: the patterned carpets shrieked at Betsy from the shabby store
More example sentences
  • Commonsense shrieked at me not to let a drop pass my lips, but it was irresistible, like musty goat's cheese straight from the liquidizer.
  • My mind shrieked at me, demanding that I get out while I could, while my heart was intact.
  • The interior, even on a Calais, still shrieks its distinctly working car roots; a general plasticky look and feel which ill behoves a $50,000 car.

noun

Back to top  
A high-pitched piercing cry or sound; a scream: shrieks of laughter
More example sentences
  • All the shrieks and screams inside sound like wind from the outside.
  • The boy started to scream, not a yell of pain but a high-pitched shriek of panic that reminded me of a rabbit's death throes, which reminded me that I was hungry.
  • Now maybe it'll go away - It let out a high-pitched shriek and Robyn screamed, now fully awake.
Synonyms
scream, screech, squeal, squawk, roar, howl, shout, yelp
informal holler

Origin

late 15th century (as a verb): imitative; compare with dialect screak, Old Norse skrækja, also with screech.

Derivatives

shrieker

1
noun
Example sentences
  • They tend to be shriekers, protestors, clowns, the whole bit.
  • On the tennis court, this one-time ‘shrieker and screamer and racket-abuser’ admits to having lost his competitive edge and is nowadays happy just getting a game.
  • Jude, Daisy and the children went to see a Robert Plant show in Mississippi and went to see the old shrieker and his band backstage afterwards.

Definition of shriek in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day tenebrous
Pronunciation: ˈtɛnɪbrəs
adjective
dark; shadowy or obscure