from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A loud, harsh cry.
  • intransitive v. To scream or cry loudly and harshly.
  • n. A brief sudden violent windstorm, often accompanied by rain or snow.
  • n. Informal A brief commotion.
  • intransitive v. To blow strongly for a brief period.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A squall line, multicell line, or part of a squall line.
  • n. A sudden storm, as found in a squall line. Often a nautical usage.
  • v. To cry or wail loudly.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A sudden and violent gust of wind often attended with rain or snow.
  • n. A loud scream; a harsh cry.
  • intransitive v. To cry out; to scream or cry violently, as a woman frightened, or a child in anger or distress.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To blow a squall: used chieflyimpersonally: as, itsqualled terribly.
  • To cry out; scream or cry violently, as a frightened woman or a child in anger or distress: used in contempt or dislike.
  • To utter in a discordant, screaming tone.
  • n. A sudden and violent gust of wind, or a succession of such gusts, usually accompanied by rain, snow, or sleet. In a ship's log-book abbreviated q.
  • n. Synonyms Gale, etc. See wind.
  • n. A harsh cry; a loud and discordant scream; a sound intermediate in character between a squawk and a squeal.
  • n. A baby; pet; minx; girl: used vaguely, in endearment or reproach.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. sudden violent winds; often accompanied by precipitation
  • v. make high-pitched, whiney noises
  • v. blow in a squall
  • v. utter a sudden loud cry


Probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse skvala, to squeal.
Probably of Scandinavian origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
The verb is from Old Norse skvala ("to cry out"). The noun is probably from the verb. (Wiktionary)


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  • she treks in blood through sun and squall
    from "The Queen's Complaint," Sylvia Plath

    April 14, 2008