Definition of screech in English:

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Pronunciation: /skriːtʃ/


[no object]
1(Of a person or animal) give a loud, harsh, piercing cry: she hit her brother, causing him to screech with pain
More example sentences
  • Animals added their noises to the din, poultry screeching and draft animals lowing as they were displayed and examined.
  • Whenever mom got really, really mad she started screeching like a parrot.
  • The girl was screeching and wailing at the same time as clawing and pinching Leanne.
1.1Make a loud, harsh, squealing sound: (as adjective screeching) she brought the car to a screeching halt
More example sentences
  • An engine rumbled behind him then the sound of old tyres screeching against the tarmac.
  • I could hear cars and lorries screeching to a halt.
  • On the way home I saw a car skidding down the road, tyres screeching against the concrete, hideously loud.
1.2 [no object, with adverbial of direction] Move rapidly with a loud, harsh, squealing sound: the van screeched round a bend at speed
More example sentences
  • Tom was probably going to say something else, but at that moment there was a loud bang and the bus went screeching to the right.
  • Suddenly, like a scene from an action movie, a Humberside Police van screeches up the kerb and four men in full riot gear and helmets leap on to the pavement.
  • Ray and Rita have already climbed into their van and screeched away which makes any immediate peace negotiations impossible.


1A loud, harsh, piercing cry: Mary tried to drown her screeches by shaking her
More example sentences
  • The piercing screech from the next room was so immediate and pained that it snapped me to instant alertness.
  • Her mouth opened wide and she let out a piercing screech.
  • She let out a loud screech, and he laughed again and pulled her back up.
1.1A loud, harsh, squealing sound: a screech of brakes
More example sentences
  • The screech modulates into the sound of thousands of marbles clattering against each other at high speed.
  • Glenn opened his mouth to respond, but quickly snapped it shut when the unmistakable sound of sirens echoed down the tunnels, the screech of brakes, someone yelling.
  • The next sound was the screech of metal as an ‘unstoppable’ juggernaut ground to a halt.



Example sentences
  • It's a dangerous work to program for a soprano, because it has some tortuous reaches and it sometimes turns competent sopranos into screechers.
  • They've edited it down, speeded it up, added a gospelly backing, and turned a ropey old screecher into a miniature classic.
  • While most people her age are busily engaged in the activity of digesting brisket, the modernist screecher is still among the living, shaking the pillars of heaven.


Pronunciation: /ˈskriːtʃi/
adjective (screechier, screechiest)
Example sentences
  • I thought the actor playing Evita was very good, but she got a bit screechy when she wanted to be loud or put a lot of emphasis on the lines.
  • The first track opens abruptly with high volume screechy staccato guitars and some guy screaming his guts out.
  • Your contributors are entitled to their opinions, but the political comments have recently taken on a screechy tone that leave me cold.


Mid 16th century: alteration of archaic scritch, of imitative origin.

Words that rhyme with screech

beach, beech, beseech, bleach, breach, breech, each, impeach, leach, leech, outreach, peach, pleach, preach, reach, speech, teach

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: screech

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