screech

noun
\ˈskrēch \

Definition of screech 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a high shrill piercing cry usually expressing pain or terror

2 : a sound resembling a screech

screech

verb
screeched; screeching; screeches

Definition of screech (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to utter a high shrill piercing cry : make an outcry usually in terror or pain

2 : to make a shrill high-pitched sound resembling a screech also : to move with such a sound the car screeched to a stop

transitive verb

: to utter with or as if with a screech

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Other Words from screech

Verb

screecher noun

Synonyms for screech

Synonyms: Verb

howl, scream, shriek, shrill, squall, squeal, yell, yelp

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Examples of screech in a Sentence

Noun

With a loud screech, she smashed the plate against the wall.

Verb

I screeched when I saw the mouse. He kept screeching at the children to pay attention. “You can't do this to me!” she screeched.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Read all about screech and Canada’s other attractions at http://tinyurl.com/ycfwdp8a. Phil Marty, chicagotribune.com, "Adventures in vegan eating, a Canadian bucket list and more," 13 July 2018 The door swung open with a clunk and a screech, and cold clean air rushed into his lungs like the first breath after a storm. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "A transgender girl rises up against alien invaders in Rich Larson’s novel Annex," 8 July 2018 But the visualization shows the midsection buzz transforming into a more piercing screech to overcome the pump’s din. Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times, "Near Noisy Oil Fields, Lovesick Birds Change Their Tunes," 13 Mar. 2018 Houses and buildings in Dogtown are wrapped in scaffolding, and the whirring screech of power saws every morning can substitute for an alarm clock. Otis R. Taylor Jr., San Francisco Chronicle, "In Oakland, this is gentrification when it knocks on your door," 19 Apr. 2018 Marco Beltrami’s score is fairly traditional for the genre, combining mechanical screeches with strings and a deep threatening bass. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Sight and Silence," 11 Apr. 2018 The official sound of the 2018 Winter Olympics is quickly becoming the screech of emergency alerts on people's cellphones. Author: Andrew Keh, Anchorage Daily News, "This is not a drill: Emergency cellphone alerts at the Winter Games become annoying," 14 Feb. 2018 Growly, subterranean pedal points and eerie screeches signal the three murders, evoked in animated silhouette by Nichols’ artfully gruesome projections. John Von Rhein, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago Opera Theater's 'Elizabeth Cree' is a bloody good show," 11 Feb. 2018 Even Thom Weaver’s blindingly white set alienates, and Chris Sannino’s sound design agitates with quiet, low electronic tones that underscore scenes with a drone or screech. Jim Rutter, Philly.com, "'Really' at Theatre Exile: A play in search of excitement," 1 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The third movement lacked the ultimate in screeching piccolo and whooping horns. Alan Artner, chicagotribune.com, "In the heat, Moser, Grant Park Orchestra perform a delicate Dvorak," 30 June 2018 The Californian producer and DJ built his name on a bedrock of dancehall rhythms and nasty bass screeches. Kat Bein, Billboard, "Dillon Francis Drops Maddening 'Moombahton' Mixtape: Listen," 27 June 2018 Police spotted the vehicle in the 700 block of Waukegan Road driving at a high rate of speed with screeching tires. Steve Sadin, chicagotribune.com, "Police: Man charged with felony DUI in Deerfield," 22 June 2018 Then another plane came screeching down the runway, and the process began again. Julia Sclafani And Jordan Cutler-tietjen, sacbee, "Seen those tankers above Sacramento? The low-down on Cal Fire's biggest base at McClellan," 3 July 2018 Play screeched to a halt in Arkansas’ eight-run sixth, when Longhorns Coach David Pierce needed six pitchers throwing 62 pitches to record three outs. Pat Borzi, New York Times, "Pace of Play Problems Plague College Baseball, Too," 25 June 2018 Cosials screeches over her like a kitten, sweet but menacing. Eve Barlow, GQ, "15 Hours With Hinds, Spain's Wildest Rock Band," 25 June 2018 Half a minute later, an ambulance screeched to a halt in front of the alley entrance, the flashing red lights filling the alley with chaotic motion as Lenny woke up screaming. Wesley Snipes, The Root, "Talon of God," 27 May 2018 On a rainy Monday morning my wonky doorbell screeches. Lara B. Sharp, Longreads, "A Tiny Scar, From Falling," 21 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'screech.' 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 screech

Noun

1560, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1577, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for screech

Verb

alteration of earlier scritch, from Middle English scrichen; akin to Old Norse skrækja to screech

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Statistics for screech

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Time Traveler for screech

The first known use of screech was in 1560

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More Definitions for screech

screech

noun

English Language Learners Definition of screech

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a loud and very high cry that usually expresses extreme pain, anger, or fear

: a loud and very high sound

screech

verb

English Language Learners Definition of screech (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cry out or shout in a loud and very high voice because of extreme pain, anger, fear, etc.

: to make a loud and very high sound

screech

verb
\ˈskrēch \
screeched; screeching

Kids Definition of screech

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to make a high-pitched harsh sound

2 : to utter with a high-pitched harsh sound

3 : to cry out in a loud, high-pitched way (as in terror or pain)

screech

noun

Kids Definition of screech (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a high-pitched harsh cry the screech of an owl

2 : a high-pitched harsh sound the screech of brakes

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Comments on screech

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a state of commotion or excitement

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