\ 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 Some recipes call for a screaming hot oven, but 400°F did the trick without the risk of overcooking. TheWeek, "Chicken en Cocotte: France's one pot solution," 17 May 2020 Nothing screams ‘summer’ like gathering around a fire, especially on the beach after dark. T+l Editors, Travel + Leisure, "6 Items T+L Editors Bought to Turn Their Backyards Into a Vacation Getaway," 5 May 2020 For one, the thing was enormously huge for a starfighter, not exactly something that screams secretive. Zarnon Kalgon, Popular Mechanics, "Why the X-Wing Is Such a Badass Spaceplane," 4 May 2020 This quarter the data scream only one color: red or trending red. Lance Lambert, Fortune, "The health of the economy in 7 charts," 8 Apr. 2020 After the shooting, students sat on the grassy hill, as a professor screamed through a microphone to stop, lest they be slaughtered. Mary Kilpatrick, cleveland, "Kent State University survivors tell their stories 50 years later," 3 May 2020 She was distracted, screaming about the news to her parents. Marc Lester, Anchorage Daily News, "Ten senior stories: Anchorage high school grads share perspectives on finishing during a crisis-altered calendar," 2 May 2020 The hour-plus concert was streamed live from Posty’s Utah hideaway, and featured Malone screaming Nirvana hits while attired in a house dress Cobain surely would have loved. Tanya Edwards,, "Courtney Love Had The Perfect Reaction To Post Malone Covering Nirvana In A Dress," 27 Apr. 2020 Because running back is a premium fantasy position, and everyone likes a shiny new toy, there will be tons of fans screaming for Swift to get the starting job and the bulk of carries early in the season. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "Picking Detroit Lions' winners and losers after 2020 NFL draft," 26 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Three men nearby working in a quarry heard the screams and ran to the scene. Scott Wartman,, "Bigfoot, Grassman, Frogman. Ohio doing pretty well, monster-wise," 11 Feb. 2020 Watching Olivia toggle back and forth between Jeff and Gregg felt a lot like watching a scream queen make poor decisions in a horror movie. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Lea Michele's Christmas Movie Has Left Me With Many Questions," 6 Dec. 2019 Moments later, this prickly minuet gets reimagined; the interaction begins well enough before devolving again, ending with both women issuing a scream-queen cry worthy of this nightmare of miscommunication. Lisa Kennedy, The Know, "Racism, white fragility and cluelessness: “Flame Broiled. or the ugly play” tackles it all," 2 Nov. 2019 It cannot be overstated that John is a scream, with Me boasting many gasping-for-air moments of comedy., "Elton John paints a vivid, hilarious, and poignant self-portrait in new memoir Me," 15 Oct. 2019 And Bakhtiari is a scream as the executive taking one for the team. Daily Pilot, "On Theater: Postures and comedy collide in ‘Yoga Play’," 7 Oct. 2019 An unmasked man, mid-scream, yelling within inches of two police officers. Gina Kaufman, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan man in now-famous Capitol protest photo: 'I didn't scream in anybody's face'," 5 May 2020 The thanks from best actress winner, the 11-year-old Helena Zengel, star of System Crasher, could barely be heard over the joyous screams of her mother, standing just offscreen in what looked to be the family kitchen. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, "'System Crasher' Wins Big in Lockdown Version of German Film Awards," 24 Apr. 2020 James Brown’s screams within that music were almost screams to free himself. New York Times, "The Ballet World Needs Robert Garland. Why Isn’t It Calling?," 24 Apr. 2020

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

21 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Scream.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2020.

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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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