ear·​split·​ting ˈir-ˌspli-tiŋ How to pronounce earsplitting (audio)
: distressingly loud or shrill
Choose the Right Synonym for earsplitting

loud, stentorian, earsplitting, raucous, strident mean marked by intensity or volume of sound.

loud applies to any volume above normal and may suggest undue vehemence or obtrusiveness.

loud shouts of protest

stentorian implies great power and range.

an actor with a stentorian voice

earsplitting implies loudness that is physically discomforting.

the earsplitting sound of a siren

raucous implies a loud harsh grating tone, especially of voice, and may suggest rowdiness.

the raucous shouts of drunken revelers

strident implies a rasping discordant but insistent quality, especially of voice.

the strident voices of hecklers

Examples of earsplitting in a Sentence

The train's whistle made an earsplitting noise. the earsplitting noise coming from the jackhammers at the construction site
Recent Examples on the Web The Wall, though, will be delightfully old school in a cap tip to the court-hugging, earsplitting, rowdy venues of college basketball’s glory days. Bryce Millercolumnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Jan. 2023 In Soledar, an old salt mining town, earsplitting explosions crack in every direction. Jeffrey Gettleman, New York Times, 24 Feb. 2022 Donald, Mark, Willie, Billy, and Tony — practically everyone in Hollis within shouting distance of 203rd Street was laughing at me at earsplitting volume. Stephen A. Smith, Rolling Stone, 16 Jan. 2023 Up close, the spinning turbines make an earsplitting din. Stanley Reed Matilde Viegas, New York Times, 3 Jan. 2023 Frequently changing lights and occasionally earsplitting volumes didn’t help. Dallas News, 23 Feb. 2022 After Williams struck a swinging backhand volley winner to take a 4-0 lead in the second set, her play improving with every passing moment, the reaction was earsplitting. Howard Fendrich, Fortune, 3 Sep. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'earsplitting.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1761, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of earsplitting was in 1761

Dictionary Entries Near earsplitting

Cite this Entry

“Earsplitting.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/earsplitting. Accessed 18 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


ear·​split·​ting -ˌsplit-iŋ How to pronounce earsplitting (audio)
: unbearably loud or shrill
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