\ 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, bleat, carp, caterwaul, complain, crab, croak, fuss, gripe, grouch, grouse, growl, grumble, grump, holler, inveigh, kick, moan, murmur, mutter, nag, squawk, squeal, wail, whimper, whine, yammer, yawp (or yaup), yowl

Synonyms: Noun

hoot, 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

So by my message to those who scream and shout about everything Trump does while saying wasn't Obama perfect, is not as simple as that. Fox News, "UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt on NATO, Russia and Brexit," 13 July 2018 While appearing with May, Trump made a mocking gesture to a reporter who screamed a question about his comments in the Sun — and did not answer. Seung Min Kim, Washington Post, "After disparaging his hosts, Trump meets with Theresa May," 13 July 2018 Other favorites include this super slinky bodycon dress that literally screams Veronica — the front slit features her name scrawled along the edge with red lipstick embroidery acting like punctuation. Mekita Rivas, Teen Vogue, "Torrid Launches Size-Inclusive Riverdale Merch," 29 June 2018 Two curveballs ended the at-bat, a strikeout to evoke the same McCullers scream that would punctuate his seventh inning. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Lance McCullers thwarts his hometown Rays in Astros' shutout win," 28 June 2018 The group of screaming fans stayed for several hours, eventually causing police to block off roads near the hotel., "Cristiano Ronaldo Reacts to Late-Night Antics of Iranian Fans Ahead of Crucial World Cup Match-Up," 25 June 2018 The emergence of bodycam video from a January arrest comes after Mesa police released videos last week showing the arrest of a teenager, who at times screamed in pain while being searched. Ray Sanchez And Keith Allen, CNN, "Mesa, Arizona, police video shows officers punch, mock suspect," 14 June 2018 Dirty Dancing Every minute of this classic movie screams summer. Kaitlyn Yarborough, Southern Living, "The Best Summer Movies of All Time," 12 June 2018 Luckily, luxury footwear and accessories brand Charlotte Olympia has just teamed up with Brazilian beachwear designer Adriana Degreas, to launch a Old Hollywood glam meets modern playful swimwear capsule collection that screams fun in the sun. Megan Decker, Harper's BAZAAR, "Charlotte Olympia and Adriana Degreas Team Up For The Cutest Swimwear Collaboration," 4 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 In front of the wolf, which really is lurking around like an unsubtle metaphor at this point, June emits a primal scream that is an expression of all of her inward trauma., "The Handmaid's Tale Season 2, Episode 11 Recap: The Wolf Is A Metaphor," 27 June 2018 The chamber shook with screams and cries, with thumping and whooping. . . . Fergus M. Bordewich, WSJ, "‘The Woman’s Hour’ Review: Friends and Foes of the 19th Amendment," 21 June 2018 Gerald Green leaped in the air and let out a fist-pumping primal scream. Matt Young, Houston Chronicle, "Relive the Rockets' big win through player celebration photos," 23 May 2018 One of the children saw Hawkins force the mother into the bedroom, and all three children heard screams coming from the room, court records say. Cory Shaffer,, "Prosecutors seek death penalty for Cleveland man charged in ex-girlfriend's fatal stabbing," 9 Apr. 2018 Loudspeakers pumped the church's atrium with recorded screams and fire alarms. Joe Robertson, kansascity, "Making terror real: Police active-shooter training is meant to overwhelm | The Kansas City Star," 15 Mar. 2018 On Wednesday evening, deputies responded to reports of screams and gunshots coming from the Rockledge home of Nicholas Worthy and his girlfriend, Rachel Trexler, sheriff’s spokesman Tod Goodyear said. Michael Williams,, "Former 'Officer of the Year' arrested on drug, child-neglect charges," 8 Mar. 2018 CORVALLIS - Ethan Thompson turned toward the Oregon State student section inside Gill Coliseum with a scream and smile, letting out joy that has been hard to come by in Pac-12 play. Danny Moran,, "Oregon State men's basketball sees USC lead vanish amid stunning 18-0 run," 20 Jan. 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

11 Sep 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).


alleviating pain or harshness

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