\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 & Antonyms for scream

Synonyms: Verb

beef, bellyache, bitch, bleat, carp, caterwaul, complain, crab, croak, fuss, gripe, grizzle, grouch, grouse, growl, grumble, grump, holler, inveigh, keen, kick, kvetch, maunder [chiefly British], moan, murmur, mutter, nag, repine, squawk, squeal, wail, whimper, whine, whinge [British], yammer, yawp (or yaup), yowl

Synonyms: Noun

hoot, knee-slapper, laugh, riot

Antonyms: Verb

crow, delight, rejoice

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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 morning's chilly New York City temps screamed one thing loud and clear to me: Winter is coming. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "The One Thing You Should Always Do To Your Driveway Before Winter Hits," 18 Oct. 2018 Kids were screaming and crying, alarms were going off, phones were buzzing and ringing. As Told To Beth Dreher And Elissa Sanci, Woman's Day, "How to Keep Our Kids Safe in School as the Gun Debate Rages On," 25 Sep. 2018 Ann Andres screamed for help until medics came and checked for her husband’s pulse. Tonya Alanez,, "Deputies were at a party when Fort Lauderdale airport shooting began, says widow's lawsuit," 12 July 2018 In the next full-page spread, all the ambient details are back as Chick flees, screaming. New York Times, "Brief Tales for New Readers and Little Listeners From Philip Stead and More," 29 June 2018 San Diego police officers responded to a call of yelling and screaming in an alley at 5:12 a.m. on Oregon Street near the North Park Community Park, San Diego police Officer Robert Heims said. City News Service,, "Suspect suffers non-life-threatening injuries in police confrontation," 3 July 2018 Courtesy of Catalina Cruz Right now, there are children far younger being separated from their parents, ripped from their mothers’ arms—eight-month old babies, screaming toddlers. Catalina Cruz, Marie Claire, "I'm a DREAMer Who Grew Up Undocumented, Poor, and Terrified. That's Why I'm Running for Office.," 22 June 2018 Gurnee Police Department officials responded to a disturbance at the park where a group of more than 15 females began using profanities and screaming. Lindsey Salvatelli, Lake County News-Sun, "Two girls in custody after Six Flags fight," 17 June 2018 In the ecstasy of victory, Chastain whipped off her shirt and fell to her knees, screaming in triumph, to reveal rock-hard biceps and rippling abs. Mari Uyehara, GQ, "How Title IX Gave Rise to the Dad Fan," 11 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

It was reported at 9:51 p.m. July 3 that a resident heard repeated screams from the village parking structure, 80 S. 6th Ave. Hank Beckman,, "La Grange blotter: Laptop stolen in armed robbery," 6 July 2018 Video footage taken from a nearby boat of tourists depicts a bloody scene of panic: screams for help and doctors, swells of fire and fumes rising into blue skies. Deanna Paul, Washington Post, "Boat explosion in Bahamas leaves one American dead, nine injured," 2 July 2018 Elijah's body doesn't move and no screams were heard. Prescotte Stokes Iii, star-telegram, "17-month-old child all smiles six days after nearly drowning in Fort Worth," 17 June 2018 An endorsement for an NFL receiver from Saints coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees simply speaks volumes, the difference between a scream and a whisper. David Haugh,, "For Ryan Pace and the Bears, the smart play is the safe one in this NFL draft," 24 Apr. 2018 Her husband was tortured and murdered as she and her family were forced to listen to his screams on the phone, said her daughter-in-law, Dhuha Ali. Michael Katz, idahostatesman, "Seeking safety after war-torn pasts, refugees become citizens and are 'reborn' in Boise," 23 June 2018 Her screams are violent, wracking, nausea-inducing. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "Why 'Hereditary' Is Dividing Audiences," 10 June 2018 Darrius' brother and grandmother overheard his screams and ran out of their bedrooms. Michelle Hunter,, "20 years for man in crack-fueled stabbing death of 14-year-old nephew," 22 May 2018 Despite further pleas through screams and sobs, the family say the gun was not moved and that the child suffered a severe form of PTSD afterwards. Angela Helm, The Root, "Chicago PD Settle for $2.5 Million After Police Point Gun at 3-Year-Old," 4 July 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

20 Nov 2018

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

: 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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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).


by force of circumstances

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