\ ˈskwēl How to pronounce squeal (audio) \
squealed; squealing; squeals

Definition of squeal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to make a shrill cry or noise
2a : to turn informer squeal to the police

transitive verb

1 : to express with or as if with a squeal
2 : to cause to make a loud shrill noise squealing the tires



Definition of squeal (Entry 2 of 2)

: a shrill sharp cry or noise

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Other Words from squeal


squealer noun

Synonyms for squeal

Synonyms: Verb

fink, grass (on) [British slang], inform, rat (on), sing, snitch, split (on) [British], squeak, talk, tell (on)

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Examples of squeal in a Sentence


The car squealed to a stop. He squealed the tires and drove off. She squealed to the teacher. “Let me go,” she squealed.


She heard the pig's squeals.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Throughout the terrifying ordeal, children could be heard crying and squealing. Robyn Merrett, PEOPLE.com, "Police Investigating After an All-In Family Fight Breaks Out in Disneyland's Toontown," 8 July 2019 Confronted by the cop, the man squealed and feigned panic. Tribune News Service, oregonlive.com, "The Man in the Window: First the burglaries; then the dogs started dying (Part Two)," 22 June 2019 Hundreds of piglets — some even just a few hours after birth — are suckling, squealing and jumping around in their pens. Casey Smith, Indianapolis Star, "I took a tour of Fair Oaks Farms. Here's what I saw.," 10 June 2019 The old postmodern insurgents risked the gasp and squeal. . . Larry Blumenfeld, WSJ, "‘Playing Changes’ Review: No Longer Wrestling With Ghosts," 16 Aug. 2018 There is no dialogue during the chase, just engines revving, tires squealing and thumps when the cars bottom out on hilly streets. Erik Lacitis, The Seattle Times, "Steve McQueen’s Ford Mustang, star of famed car-chase scene in ‘Bullitt,’ pulls into Tacoma," 8 Dec. 2018 The Commute Two subway lines, the 2 and 5, stop at the lone subway station, West Farms Square/East Tremont Avenue, where trains squeal high above the street on elevated tracks. New York Times, "West Farms, the Bronx: Flora, Fauna and Renewal," 13 June 2018 Compared to some other states, New York’s film credit program has some features that don’t squeal like pigs. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Cynthia Nixon Goes After New York’s Tax Breaks for Movies," 29 Mar. 2018 One of the most annoying car sounds (and in fact any sound) is brakes that squeal. Alex Leanse, Popular Mechanics, "10 Tire and Brake Problems All Drivers Need to Know," 23 Feb. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

When the fridge is filled and the blow-up mattresses are, well, blown up, check out either the West Palm Beach or Fort Lauderdale airports to see the grandmas and grandpas greet the family members with hug and squeals of delight. Bea Lewis, sun-sentinel.com, "How to survive summer family visits | Opinion," 2 July 2019 Traumatized by his stay at Sunnyside daycare, this reclusive Chatter Telephone aids—and later squeals on—Andy's toys in Toy Story 3. Emily Matchar, Smithsonian, "The Patents Behind Toy Story’s Beloved Characters," 14 June 2019 When Amos punctured the balloon, a cloud of pink dust puffed out, eliciting squeals and hollers from those gathered around an old oak tree for the ceremony, Fox 13 News reported. Tiffini Theisen, orlandosentinel.com, "Florida couple uses pet alligator for gender reveal for family’s 10th child," 12 June 2019 Just as one girl stood up to share some of her thoughts, Michelle crept through the door and hugged her from behind — and the room erupted into tears and squeals of disbelief. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "Watch Michelle Obama and Oprah Surprise a Group of Unsuspecting High School Girls," 13 Nov. 2018 Needless to say, the internet soon erupted in squeals of sheer joy. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Childhood "Best Friends" Reunite on Social Media After a Viral Tweet," 25 Nov. 2018 They frequent dense urban areas where the quiet squeal of a battery is preferable to the rumble of an engine. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Are diesel’s days numbered? A view from a trip to BYD’s electric bus factory," 14 Aug. 2018 But who’s creating all those squeals, barks and bass slaps on the other side of Aquidneck Island? Andrew R. Chow, New York Times, "15 Pop Music Festivals to Catch This Summer," 17 May 2018 Native to the Tianshan Mountains of northwestern China, the Ili pika was discovered in 1983, and few have shown their squeal-worthy faces since. National Geographic, "Rare Bunny-Faced Mammal Captured on Video," 14 June 2018

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1747, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for squeal


Middle English squelen, of imitative origin

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Learn More about squeal

Dictionary Entries near squeal





squeal on



Statistics for squeal

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for squeal

The first known use of squeal was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for squeal



English Language Learners Definition of squeal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make or cause (something) to make a long, high-pitched cry or noise
informal + disapproving : to tell someone in authority (such as the police or a teacher) about something wrong that someone has done
: to say (something) in a high and excited voice



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

: a long, high-pitched cry or noise


\ ˈskwēl How to pronounce squeal (audio) \
squealed; squealing

Kids Definition of squeal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to make a sharp long high-pitched cry or noise



Kids Definition of squeal (Entry 2 of 2)

: a sharp high-pitched cry or noise

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More from Merriam-Webster on squeal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with squeal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for squeal

Spanish Central: Translation of squeal

Nglish: Translation of squeal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of squeal for Arabic Speakers

Comments on squeal

What made you want to look up squeal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to complain fretfully

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