: distressingly or painfully loud : earsplitting
… there was an ear-shattering blast of trumpets, entirely off key …Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth, 1961
… the sound was an ear-shattering screech, like a freight train highballing with a partially locked brake.Alexander Stuart, Fortune, 3 May 1982
… delivered an ear-shattering performance that inspired fans to hurl themselves violently at the stage.People Weekly, 7 Sept. 1987

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1859, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ear-shattering was circa 1859

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Dictionary Entries Near ear-shattering

Cite this Entry

“Ear-shattering.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ear-shattering. Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!