\ 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

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 On her Twitter account, Hoda gave fans more Haley Joy to squeal over. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Hoda Kotb's Birthday Instagram of Her Daughter Haley Joy Is So Precious," 9 Aug. 2018 But that 0-60 mph acceleration of 7.6 seconds is actually highly traction-limited, on account of the pretty useless tires up front, which chirrup and squeal even beyond the interventions of traction control whenever pressed. Dan Neil, WSJ, "2019 Hyundai Kona Electric: Good EVs Are No Longer Shocking," 1 Nov. 2018 There were dedicated paths completely separated from cars where kids rode bikes in squealing, adult-free packs. Alissa Walker, Curbed, "How traveling abroad with kids showed me how to fix U.S. transit," 14 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 And the impressive array of imposing creatures — a tarantula, a scorpion — behind glass but obviously quite alive, inspired squeals of horror and excitement. New York Times, "Francine Prose on Montreal in the Spring: The Time of the Butterflies," 11 June 2018 Dante, hovering over the issue with Anglophile, let out a manly squeal. Elisa Albert, Longreads, "Etta or Bessie or Dora or Rose," 24 May 2018 Speak into a microphone embedded in the piece, and your voice echoes at a high pitch — a ghost’s squeal. Cate Mcquaid, BostonGlobe.com, "At the ICA, Kevin Beasley alchemizes dark histories," 23 May 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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Dictionary Entries near squeal





squeal on



Statistics for squeal

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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

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