screech·​ing ˈskrē-chiŋ How to pronounce screeching (audio)
: abrupt, sudden
her career came to a screeching halt

Example Sentences

the screeching blast of the factory whistle hurt my ears
Recent Examples on the Web But, on Tuesday, Lightfoot’s reign came to a screeching halt in a manner as stunning and decisive as the landslide that swept her into office. David Axelrod, CNN, 1 Mar. 2023 Those interest led hikes led to a screeching halt in the 2022 equities market, and stocks saw their worst sell-off since the global financial crisis. Bychristiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 10 Feb. 2023 That all recently came to a screeching halt when the city criminalized the substance. Theara Coleman, The Week, 6 Feb. 2023 A certain amount of rust on both sides of the footlights was inevitable, given that theater came to a screeching halt in March 2020 because of the COVID pandemic and didn’t fully resume until September 2021. Don Aucoin,, 17 Nov. 2022 The first two challenges of the season brought to a screeching halt midway through both competitions. Dalton Ross,, 2 Mar. 2023 After forcing the Chiefs to punt, however, that momentum came to a screeching halt when on third down, Hurts inexplicably dropped the football after the snap and squirted away from him. Bob Mcmanaman, The Arizona Republic, 12 Feb. 2023 That came to a screeching halt during the Covid pandemic, as China virtually sealed its borders. Kocha Olarn, CNN, 13 Jan. 2023 But her good deeds came to a screeching halt last July when her canine rescue van was hit and totaled by another car. San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Jan. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'screeching.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1904, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of screeching was in 1904

Dictionary Entries Near screeching

Cite this Entry

“Screeching.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Apr. 2023.

Kids Definition


screech·​ing ˈskrē-chiŋ How to pronounce screeching (audio)
: sudden sense 1a
her career came to a screeching halt

More from Merriam-Webster on screeching

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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