Definition of shriek in English:


Syllabification: shriek
Pronunciation: /SHrēk


[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.
    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.


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  • 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.
    scream, screech, squeal, squawk, roar, howl, shout, yelp
    informal holler



More 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.


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

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Pronunciation: skōSH
a small amount; a little