Definition of scream in English:


Line breaks: scream
Pronunciation: /skriːm


[no object]
  • 1Give a long, loud, piercing cry or cries expressing extreme emotion or pain: they could hear him screaming in pain (as adjective screaming) a harassed mum with a screaming child
    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 down 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.
  • 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.
  • 2Make 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.
  • 2.1 [no object, with adverbial of direction] Move 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.
  • 3 informal , • dated Turn informer: he never got paid and my information is he’s ready to scream


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  • 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, yawp, yelp, squeal, wail, squawk, squall, caterwaul, whoop
    North American 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.
  • 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.


Middle English: origin uncertain; perhaps from Middle Dutch.

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