\ 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

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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

This father started to scream and threaten his son with physical punishment. Erica Komisar, WSJ, "Stressed-Out American Parents Could Learn a Lesson From India," 17 May 2019 Co-host Meghan McCain ran over to Whoopi screaming and was especially ecstatic to see her friend. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'The View' Star Meghan McCain LOST It After Whoopi Goldberg Returned to Give a Health Update," 14 Mar. 2019 The mother screamed and went frantic for information, Kuchta said. Ben Brasch, ajc, "Man who died at SunTrust Park was there installing his beer invention," 27 June 2018 Seven hours after your fight with life and death, seven hours after your body breaks open, and bloody, screaming life comes out. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Keira Knightley Is Pregnant—and the Way She Announced It Is Surprising," 3 May 2019 Their poor parents are powerless to stop the crying, yelling and screaming. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Colin Hanks Shares a Heartfelt Story About Luke Perry Following the Actor's Tragic Death," 5 Mar. 2019 But there’s something regal beneath her slowly disintegrating façade, something that makes her worst moments — the cake-eating and the purple-faced screaming fits — even more jarring by contrast. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "The Favourite is a deliciously wicked tale of sex, women, and power plays," 21 Nov. 2018 My boss would yell and scream when she was stressed. Amber Kallor, Allure, "How Lottie Went From Being an Accountant to an A-List Makeup Artist," 20 Sep. 2018 Live video of the competitors themselves cut to a full-screen shot of the gameplay feed as the shooting began, but audio of gunshots and screaming victims was still being captured. Megan Geuss And Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Mass shooting at Florida Madden tournament leaves multiple casualties [Updated]," 26 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

When Nile Rodgers took the stage, the room erupted in a scream. Ian Malone, Vogue, "Kendall, Hailey, Cara! Models Galore Came Out to the Opening of Edition Hotels’s Times Square Outpost," 13 Mar. 2019 The victim then attempted to crawl up the stairs and was found by her boyfriend who heard her screams. Deanese Williams-harris,, "Markham man denied bail in North Side sexual assault," 27 Apr. 2018 Only animals who have once been human are able to speak in the movie, so the fly would have had to have once been a human for Kuzco to have heard his screams. 20. Stacey Grant, Seventeen, "20 Insane Disney Movie Fan Theories That Will Blow. Your. Mind.," 16 Apr. 2019 Just think of a statue of a tortured man holding his head in his hands, his face a study in agony, his stone mouth a silent scream. John Kass,, "Joy of Chicago's Croatians cresting as World Cup final with France approaches," 13 July 2018 Trip escaped after being stabbed twice and Lynch was tackled to the ground by neighbors who heard her screams during the attack, according to the news release. Angel Guerrero, sacbee, "Man convicted of attempted murder in 2017 Citrus Heights stabbing," 15 June 2018 That left a wide open net for Esmond, who responded to her bouncing goal — the Gladiators’ 13th of the night — by slamming her stick on the ground and letting out a joyous scream to celebrate the soon-to-be victory. Kyle Stackpole, Howard County Times, "Glenelg girls lacrosse hands Marriotts Ridge first loss," 14 Apr. 2018 The chilling screams from family members can be heard in a recording made inside the home in Richmond, Tex. Kristine Phillips, Washington Post, "‘Evil’ home invaders held a child under hot water to force his dad to give them money, police say," 27 June 2018 More than a single-issue gun rally, the protests were a primal scream from a new generation seeking to forcefully assert themselves in a political sphere in which they are often ignored. Astead W. Herndon,, "In Washington, teen marchers make their fear and fury heard," 24 Mar. 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

22 May 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 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, 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

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