\ ˈskrēm How to pronounce scream (audio) \
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

1 : to utter with or as if with a scream "Use your mirror!" screamed her petrified bodyguard …— Alan Coren Fans in the mosh pit shook their fists and screamed her lyrics in unison.— Neal Karlen
2 : to call (something) to mind very strongly and clearly They may be a pain to carve, but few things scream Halloween quite like the iconic jack o'lantern.— Matt Juul There's something about Jane Austen novels, and especially Pride & Prejudice, that just screams fall reading to me.— Kerry Jarema



Definition of scream (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Synonyms for scream

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of scream in a Sentence

Verb 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. Noun She let out a piercing scream. that new comedy is a scream See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Encased, pigs in gestation crates are unable to do anything but sit and suffer and scream at each new appearance of a human. Matthew Scully, National Review, 11 July 2022 Take ur moment, cry/scream but remain composed & remember that Love heals & teaches more than anger or hate ever will. Stephanie Wenger,, 11 July 2022 In seconds, the pit crew tore off four tires, filled a tank of gas, screwed on four new tires, and leapt out of the way for the car to scream back onto the track. Shane Snow, Forbes, 16 June 2022 In kind, the music behind the evocative cover spikes pleasure with pain, adding sharp edges to songs that make sing- and scream-alongs cathartic. Washington Post, 4 May 2022 Clare opened his mouth to scream, but no sound escaped. Lindsey Fitzharris, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 July 2022 Two things that scream luxury: sparkle and a hefty bottle of Chanel. Katie Intner, Harper's BAZAAR, 30 June 2022 Horrifying video shows a multi-story section of the wooden stands collapse and people scream. Natalie Neysa Alund, USA TODAY, 27 June 2022 Take ur moment, cry/scream but remain composed & remember that Love heals & teaches more than anger or hate ever will. Shafiq Najib And Angela Andaloro,, 19 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That was the primal scream coming from Rodrick Pleasant of Gardena Serra High on a cool, breezy Saturday afternoon at Moorpark High after learning his wind-legal performance in the 100 meters was the fastest in state history. Los Angeles Times, 21 May 2022 Harmon hosted her first primal scream event in March 2021. Washington Post, 14 Feb. 2022 Once the tag was in place, Skomal let out a celebratory scream, accompanied by a fist pump, as other members of the research team are heard cheering in the background. Steve Annear,, 15 July 2022 Think about it: A never-ending stream of news on a phone screen is like a piercing scream, far different from, for instance, a half-hour newscast that always ends with sports or a feel-good story. Brian Stelter, CNN, 29 June 2022 Artists analyzed the footage and identified the actor’s expressions — a smile, a frown, a scream, etc. — to note how the dots moved in those instances, which Inversin compared to establishing key frames for each character. Alyse Stanley, Washington Post, 28 June 2022 The occasional scream of joy rang out from the carnival rides. Alixel Cabrera, The Salt Lake Tribune, 24 June 2022 Halloween might be four months away, but the true scream queens know that planning can never start too early. Ariel Cheung, Chicago Tribune, 15 June 2022 The whump-whump-whump of artillery is punctuated by the scream of tactical ballistic missiles, and the salvos of rocket artillery make a distinctive pattering of successive concussions. Mac William Bishop, Rolling Stone, 12 June 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for scream

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near scream



scream bloody murder

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Statistics for scream

Last Updated

31 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Scream.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for scream


\ ˈskrēm How to pronounce scream (audio) \
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, Diary of a Wimpy Kid

More from Merriam-Webster on scream

Nglish: Translation of scream for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scream for Arabic Speakers


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