\ 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 The Heisman Trophy runner-up was carted off the field after a sack and was reported to be screaming in pain outside the locker room. Kevin Cusick, Twin Cities, "The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 11: Tua Tagovailoa carted off; draft future in doubt?," 16 Nov. 2019 Then — like a furious defendant jumping out of his seat to scream at the witness on a courtroom drama — Mr. Trump himself joined the episode, via Twitter. James Poniewozik, New York Times, "The President Bursts Through the Virtual Courtroom Doors," 15 Nov. 2019 The woman tried to scream and fight off her attacker, but Imasuku threatened her with a knife, according to police. Ethan Schmidt, azcentral, "Man suspected of going on 48-hour crime spree, including sexual assault, in Glendale," 15 Nov. 2019 Joe Biden stands for nostalgia and gets to scream without condemnation. Michael Arceneaux, Essence, "Only Sexist Men Take Issue With Elizabeth Warren’s Justified Anger," 14 Nov. 2019 The officer kneed Vazquez in the groin and pushed his arms straight into the air, multiple times, causing Vazquez to scream in pain. Kieran Nicholson, The Denver Post, "Former Windsor mayor awarded $250,000 in excessive force settlement with Timnath police officers," 11 Nov. 2019 As in, one of the people who raised someone self-centered enough to scream her claim to guesthood of honor at someone else’s event? Washington Post, "Concerns about a daughter’s modesty expose more about the mother’s mind-set," 10 Nov. 2019 Hopefully, this won’t include having to scream through the walls to turn the music down. Chris Kaltenbach,, "The best of Brilliant Baltimore: 6 things not to miss now that Light City and the Book Festival are combined," 30 Oct. 2019 That isn’t to say the roster is stacked top to bottom with Pro Bowlers, but there is no single position on the roster that is screaming to be addressed as the NFL trade deadline approaches. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Colts defense showing off uncommon depth, versatility," 24 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 The scream of worship now meets the muffle of doctrine on Jesus Is King, a stunningly extreme and empty album. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Kanye West Strains His Voice on Jesus Is King," 29 Oct. 2019 Inside, the scream of pumps is deafening as the water is forced at up to 70 times atmospheric pressure into several hundred steel tubes, each stuffed like a sausage with spiral-wound membranes. Henry Fountain, New York Times, "The World Can Make More Water From the Sea, but at What Cost?," 22 Oct. 2019 There were two main reasons: to maximize natural light and to muffle the screams of surgical patients, thereby saving the equanimity of everyone else at the hospital. Washington Post, "Knock yourself out in the Ether Dome," 9 Oct. 2019 Amid the screams of street vendors and the pedestrian mayhem, dozens of young men with metal carts hustle back and forth between the bus terminal and the border, carrying suitcases and merchandise. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Venezuelan border town swells with internal migrants," 2 Oct. 2019 Night after night, people woke up to screams of those brought to the bungalow after arbitrary arrest by the security forces. Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty, Quartz India, "The citizens’ register is the latest wound in Assam’s long history of loss and hurt," 17 Sep. 2019 The crowd then erupts in screams of excitement, which only ramps up when Liam continues. Kara Nesvig, Teen Vogue, "Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson Sang "Happy Birthday" to Niall Horan During the Coca-Cola Music Experience Festival," 15 Sep. 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

20 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Scream.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 November 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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not agreeing with established beliefs

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