shriek

verb
\ ˈshrēk How to pronounce shriek (audio) , especially Southern ˈsrēk\
shrieked; shrieking; shrieks

Definition of shriek

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to utter a sharp shrill sound
2a : to cry out in a high-pitched voice : screech
b : to suggest such a cry (as by vividness of expression) neon colors shrieked for attention— Calvin Tomkins

transitive verb

1 : to utter with a shriek shriek an alarm
2 : to express in a manner suggestive of a shriek

shriek

noun

Definition of shriek (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a shrill usually wild or involuntary cry
2 : a sound resembling a shriek the shriek of chalk on the blackboard

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Synonyms for shriek

Synonyms: Verb

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

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Examples of shriek in a Sentence

Verb

The birds were shrieking in the trees. She shrieked when she saw a mouse.

Noun

the shriek of the train's brakes
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Fans still shrieked as foul balls bounced from concourse level to concourse level. Jori Epstein, USA TODAY, "Angels get emotional win in return to field following death of teammate Tyler Skaggs," 2 July 2019 With so many bodies crammed together, the room had grown sweaty, but the news prompted the crowd to shriek and holler, fists punching the air. Jennifer Gonnerman, The New Yorker, "Tiffany Cabán Upends Politics As Usual in Queens," 26 June 2019 The teaser trailer, released on Thursday, is definitely gnarly: a knight shrieks in agony as his mortal form is pulverized and a more monstrous one takes his place. Nick Romano, EW.com, "Baldur's Gate III officially announced with gruesome teaser trailer," 6 June 2019 On Instagram, Mark posts pictures from vacations on the beach, or of the entire group shrieking their way down a water ride at Disneyland. Marie Milano, Country Living, "Shark Tank's Mark Cuban and His Wife Tiffany's Marriage Is Worth More Than Money Can Buy," 10 Mar. 2019 Howls, shrieks Toby lives in a cheery household that juggles two soccer schedules, his and nine-year-old sister Serena’s. Betsy Morris, WSJ, "How Fortnite Triggered an Unwinnable War Between Parents and Their Boys," 21 Dec. 2018 Graham shrieked at his colleagues across the aisle. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Week in Washington: Ralphing, Boufing, and the Devil’s Triangle," 30 Sep. 2018 Someone shrieked with laughter far too close to Yale’s ear. Rebecca Makkai, chicagotribune.com, "An excerpt from 'The Great Believers' by Rebecca Makkai: 1985," 21 May 2018 Populist Democrats can help the president make good on his promises—and make Republicans shriek—by proposing a financial-transaction tax and a revenue tax on tech companies. Bobby Jindal, WSJ, "If Democrats Were Shrewd . . .," 30 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The vocalizations bounce back and forth, shifting from yelps to howl, shrieks to laughs, barks, warbles and piercing yips, their pitch changing in mid-call. Shannon Tompkins, ExpressNews.com, "Meet the coyote, one of nature’s great tricksters," 13 June 2019 As cars drove by, horns blared recklessly in camaraderie with the crowds, rousing cheers and shrieks in return. BostonGlobe.com, "Bruins fans, Cup-crazed before final game, stream out of bars crushed," 13 June 2019 His shriek was ferocious enough to make Janis Joplin briefly consider joining his band. Tom Maxwell, Longreads, "Remembering Roky Erickson," 7 June 2019 This accurate scale model made of chocolate fondant and spun sugar—which must have involved hours of collaboration with the Pei office—was greeted with shrieks of delight by the architect’s guest. Martin Filler, The New York Review of Books, "I.M. Pei: Establishment Modernism Lite," 24 May 2019 Not even her whistle-register shrieks can extract a single yes from the trio of judges. Robbie Daw, Billboard, "'American Idol' Recap: The Coccia Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves (Critic's Take)," 20 Mar. 2018 The howls and shrieks come from the basement where Toby wields a submachine gun to kill off rivals. Betsy Morris, WSJ, "How Fortnite Triggered an Unwinnable War Between Parents and Their Boys," 21 Dec. 2018 Back on stage, Close shrieks about midway through the first act. Kate Branch, Vogue, "Meet the Actress Whose Joan of Arc Bob Is Making Waves Off Broadway," 16 Nov. 2018 The terrible, undulating war whoops of the attackers were soon joined by sharp shrieks of women pierced by arrows and the cries of men being killed with pangas. Nick Turse, Teen Vogue, "The Democratic Republic of Congo Has Humanitarian Crises Leaving Millions of Children In Danger," 14 Nov. 2018

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

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun

1567, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for shriek

Verb

Middle English shreken, probably irregular from shriken to shriek; akin to Old Norse skrækja to shriek

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Statistics for shriek

Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shriek

The first known use of shriek was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for shriek

shriek

verb

English Language Learners Definition of shriek

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make a loud, high-pitched cry
: to say (something) in a loud, high-pitched voice

shriek

noun

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

: a loud, high-pitched cry or sound

shriek

verb
\ ˈshrēk How to pronounce shriek (audio) \
shrieked; shrieking

Kids Definition of shriek

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to make a loud high-pitched cry We shrieked with delight.
2 : to say in a loud high-pitched voice She shrieked my name.

shriek

noun

Kids Definition of shriek (Entry 2 of 2)

: a loud high-pitched cry or sound

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More from Merriam-Webster on shriek

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shriek

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shriek

Spanish Central: Translation of shriek

Nglish: Translation of shriek for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shriek for Arabic Speakers

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