\ 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 reigning queen of breakup songs to scream along to in your car is living large. Aj Willingham, CNN, 1 June 2021 Mendoza said the men began pounding on the windows of the Mazda, causing the children to scream in fright. Jacob Beltran, San Antonio Express-News, 11 May 2021 The shorebirds usually scatter and scream as the peregrine falcon nose dives at them. Ciarra Luster,, 6 June 2021 Home is the state of waiting, of not acting on her worst impulses to scream in frustration and cause a huge fuss and fly back to him. Caitlin Dwyer, Longreads, 29 May 2021 Nobody wants to have to scream at the top of their lungs for people to hear them. Chris Hachey, BGR, 21 May 2021 Mandel was a deeply strange, highly improvisational comedian, more likely to scream and run around than stand and deliver a polished tight five. Jesse David Fox, Vulture, 29 Apr. 2021 Control of your smiling face as your feet scream in your pointe shoes at the end of a long pas de deux. Chloe Angyal, Marie Claire, 22 Apr. 2021 Suggest that your friends go outside immediately after the game to either light off sparklers and air hug in celebration or scream into the ether and commiserate (from a distance). Molly Longman,, 5 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Ride the rides, skate at the roller rink or just walk around and remember a time when people gathered with strangers without even considering what germs were flying out of their mouths with every rollercoaster scream. oregonlive, 3 June 2021 Angar the Screamer: A hippie experimented on by a space priestess, gifting him with a sonic scream that makes people high. Oliver Sava, Vulture, 21 May 2021 Blue Origin’s is slow and steady, while SpaceX’s is more of a primal scream. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, 28 Apr. 2021 The right-hander responded to Tatis’ fifth homer of the series by striking out Trent Grisham and Manny Machado with 99-mph fastballs and Eric Hosmer with an 88-mph curve, punctuating his final pitch of the inning with a primal scream. Los Angeles Times, 26 Apr. 2021 When the ball found the bottom of the net, DeRozan unleashed a primal scream of pure catharsis. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, 12 Apr. 2021 When the rest is incinerated, landfilled, or dumped, and consumers are scream-requesting that Big Beauty recognizes and reforms its role in this wasteful cycle, industry experts are addressing the issue in a number of ways. Arden Fanning Andrews, Vogue, 22 Apr. 2021 Hope the seagulls have been working with their scream coach, because at least one of this year’s Best Original Song nominees will be needing them for back-up vocals, alongside the mountains and the whales. Halle Kiefer, Vulture, 16 Apr. 2021 By turning every creak, crash and unstifled scream into a potentially fatal mistake, the movie cut the exposition to a minimum and kept its focus on the minutiae of the Abbotts’ moment-by-moment survival. Los Angeles Times, 18 May 2021

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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Learn More About scream

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

25 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Scream.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on scream

Nglish: Translation of scream for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scream for Arabic Speakers


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