\ ˈskrēm \
screamed; screaming; screams

Definition of scream

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a(1) : to voice a sudden sharp loud cry
(2) : to produce harsh high tones
b : to make a noise resembling a scream the siren screamed
c : to move with great rapidity
2a : to speak or write with intense or hysterical emotion
b : to protest, demand, or complain vehemently
c : to laugh hysterically
3 : to produce a vivid startling effect

transitive verb

: to utter with or as if with a scream



Definition of scream (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a loud sharp penetrating cry or noise
2 : a very funny person or thing

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Synonyms for scream

Synonyms: Verb

howl, screech, shriek, shrill, squall, squeal, yelp, yell

Synonyms: Noun

hoot, knee-slapper, laugh, riot

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Examples of scream in a Sentence


She screamed when the door suddenly slammed shut. This is so irritating I could scream. The crowd screamed with excitement. He was dragged, kicking and screaming, from the room. He screamed at her to stop. Sirens were screaming in the distance. Police cars screamed down the street. Newspaper headlines screamed about the spike in crime.


She let out a piercing scream. that new comedy is a scream
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Local activists believe race played a factor in the shooting, and witnesses said that Covey, a white officer, simply opened fire after seeing a black man with a gun, despite people screaming that Roberson was a security guard. P.r. Lockhart, Vox, "A black security guard caught a shooting suspect — only to be shot by police minutes later," 23 Jan. 2019 There are no screaming parents jumping up and down with you about the golden ticket here. Megan Stein, Country Living, "10 Totally Weird Things About 'The Voice' Auditions That No One Ever Talks About," 19 Jan. 2019 Imagine triangles spinning around a shower curtain rod inside a beer keg—that is an elemental description of the screaming Wankel rotary engine. Matthew Jancer, Popular Mechanics, "The Rhombus Rotary Engine: Can a Quirky New Design Top the Famous Wankel?," 18 Jan. 2019 The new HP Omen 15 offers a screaming-fast 240Hz display unheard of in laptops. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "6 important CES 2019 reveals and trends that PC enthusiasts need to know about," 11 Jan. 2019 But there are also a few touches that just scream Shields—like a ginormous bathroom complete with a flat screen TV, a private dressing room, and even a pool out back that gives a nod to her performance in Blue Lagoon. Lauren Smith, House Beautiful, "Looking To Rent? You Can Stay In Brook Shields’ California Mansion For $25K A Month," 6 Dec. 2018 Videos taken by journalists at the scene capture adults and barefoot children in diapers running and screaming after being exposed to the chemical weapon. Korin Miller, SELF, "This Is Exactly How Tear Gas Affects Your Body," 26 Nov. 2018 This created a soft, matte, diffused effect that didn't scream look at my green eye shadow. Devon Abelman, Allure, "PSA: Green Color Corrector Doubles as the Perfect Mint Eye Shadow," 24 Oct. 2018 That means thousands of kids running around and screaming with joy, mom and dad viewing the exhibits, plenty of deep-fried and oversized foods, thrilling rides and lots of sights and sounds for the entire family. Daniel Wilson, sacbee, "What’s new at the California State Fair? Here’s everything you need to know," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In a post on the team's Twitter page, screams of excitement greeted the announcement of the Hornets' opponent. Noel Harris, sacbee, "Sacramento State softball ends its playoff drought. Why the title path won't be easy | The Sacramento Bee," 14 May 2018 After hearing screams from Lombard Street residents, City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson blocked that plan. Stu Bykofsky,, "Philly's Pine-in-the-sky plan to flip bike lanes | Stu Bykofsky," 29 Mar. 2018 This time, the show chooses to literally close the doors on the attack itself, instead focusing on the tavern patrons' indifference to (and in some cases, bemusement at) Brianna's screams and cries from the back. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Outlander's Sophie Skelton Breaks Down Brianna's Harrowing Assault," 24 Dec. 2018 The creepy-cool shape is a perfect fit for the fall holiday (and a bit more practical than those scream-worthy skull logs that were all the rage last year). Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Those Himalayan Salt Lamps Everyone's Obsessed With Now Come in Skull Form," 25 Sep. 2018 But it's heard by everyone in the taproom who ignore Brianna's screams for help and the rhythmic banging on the floor. Outlander Fan, Marie Claire, "5 Biggest Takeaways From 'Outlander' Season 4 Episode 8," 24 Dec. 2018 Roller Coaster Starring AerosmithThis popular scream-inducing dark ride offers a single rider line, which works exactly the same as for Expedition Everest. Suzanne Rowan Kelleher, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Get on Any Disney World Ride in 30 Minutes or Less," 8 Nov. 2018 Christine Blasey Ford said that, at a high school party in 1982, Kavanaugh groped her, tried to undress her, and covered her mouth to muffle her screams, while Kavanaugh’s friend, Mark Judge, stood by. German Lopez, Vox, "The FBI investigation of Kavanaugh was doomed from the start," 5 Oct. 2018 Then, get ready to hear some screams as the ice water hits them. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "25 Fun Challenges to Play With Your Friends," 27 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scream.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of scream


12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a(1)


1605, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for scream


Middle English scremen; akin to Middle Dutch schreem scream

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Statistics for scream

Last Updated

30 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for scream

The first known use of scream was in the 12th century

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More Definitions for scream



English Language Learners Definition of scream

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to suddenly cry out in a loud and high voice because of pain, surprise, etc.
: to say (something) in a loud and high voice because you are angry, afraid, etc.
: to make a very loud, high sound



English Language Learners Definition of scream (Entry 2 of 2)

: a loud and high cry or sound
informal + old-fashioned : a person or thing that is very funny


\ ˈskrēm \
screamed; screaming

Kids Definition of scream

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to cry out (as in fright) with a loud and high-pitched sound

Other Words from scream

screamer \ ˈskrē-​mər \ noun



Kids Definition of scream (Entry 2 of 2)

: a long cry that is loud and high-pitched But right then, there was this awful scream, and we saw a big wave of water coming toward us.— Jeff Kinney, Wimpy Kid

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More from Merriam-Webster on scream

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with scream

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scream

Spanish Central: Translation of scream

Nglish: Translation of scream for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scream for Arabic Speakers

Comments on scream

What made you want to look up scream? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


excited commotion or publicity

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