\ 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

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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Gracie Lane, 6, sat on her mother’s shoulders and screamed with delight when Santa Claus made a surprise appearance. Peggy O’hare,, "Large crowds flock to tree lighting, ice rink opening," 29 Nov. 2019 Stop screaming guilt with the hope of finding something — anything to remove this president. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: A telling omission in hearing (11/22/19)," 24 Nov. 2019 Sometimes, role-playing kids and teens, covered in fake blood, are scattered throughout their schools – screaming. Jaclyn Schildkraut, The Conversation, "Do lockdown drills do any good?," 22 Nov. 2019 Precious metals & mining companies seem to fit that bill but the catch with uncorrelated assets is sometimes that means eating big losses while the rest of the market screams higher. Ben Carlson, Fortune, "Looking For Stock Market Buying Opportunities? There’s Always a Bear Market Somewhere," 22 Nov. 2019 Pro Dermacontrol Purifying Clay Mask with Bentonite Clay Cetaphil $15.99 SHOP IT This mask screams self-care. Krystyna Chávez, Marie Claire, "Rachel Brosnahan Has the Most Gorgeous Skin I've Ever Seen IRL," 21 Nov. 2019 Mix in fatigue from an early-morning flight or three-hour layover, screaming kids, and the overwhelming desire just to tune out for a while, and yeah, people are going to be tempted. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Traveling? This $7 gadget protects your phone from treacherous USB charging ports," 21 Nov. 2019 His strut is powered by the glass-shattering, collective vocal chords of his millions of screaming fans. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Harry Styles Nails the Ultimate Rockstar Look in a Gucci Coat," 12 Nov. 2019 By the time Izrailov pulled into a parking lot and asked two sheriff’s deputies for help, Morrow had stopped screaming. USA Today, "A security empire deployed guards with violent pasts across the U.S. Some went on to rape, assault or kill," 31 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Murray fell to the ground and arose with a primal scream. Mike Singer, The Denver Post, "With defense and vision, Nuggets star Jamal Murray not just a “traditional” point guard anymore," 15 Nov. 2019 Attention: Please contain your screams until after this article. Danika Worthington, The Know, "Harry Styles coming to Denver for his upcoming Love on Tour," 13 Nov. 2019 So he’s mostly left to bluster and primal-scream on the periphery, like a windup toy wearing itself out in the corner of a playroom. James Poniewozik, New York Times, "Review: Apple’s ‘Morning Show’? Wait for the Upgrade," 31 Oct. 2019 Police said the man put his hand over the woman’s mouth, but a neighbor still heard her screams and came outside. Tess Sheets,, "Orlando police investigate after woman raped in Thornton Park," 28 Oct. 2019 Suddenly, a beam of light flashed from across the street, roughly 70 yards away, and Virgil heard a scream. Nick Powell, San Antonio Express-News, "Quiet teen who rescued 17 in Harvey flooding wins national Citizen Hero award," 18 Mar. 2018 The boy's father heard a scream, ran to the scene to find his son was unconscious. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Man committed for 31 years in brutal hammer attack on teen neighbor mowing lawn," 11 Jan. 2018 The crowd, of every age and gender, received the message with Fonda-shaking screams of support for the singer who so openly discloses the struggles of mental health that too many of us feel and might be too ashamed to admit. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, "Julia Michaels Surprises Los Angeles Crowd With Selena Gomez: Concert Recap," 12 Nov. 2019 What follows the Burger King face-off offers a scream of a different sort. Lisa Kennedy, The Know, "Racism, white fragility and cluelessness: “Flame Broiled. or the ugly play” tackles it all," 2 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for scream

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for scream

Last Updated

4 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Scream.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 7 December 2019.

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More Definitions for scream


How to pronounce scream (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scream

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with scream

Spanish Central: Translation of scream

Nglish: Translation of scream for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scream for Arabic Speakers

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