Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A shrill, often frantic cry.
  • noun A sound suggestive of such a cry.
  • intransitive verb To utter a shriek.
  • intransitive verb To make a sound similar to a shriek.
  • intransitive verb To utter with a shriek.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To utter a sharp, shrill cry; cry out more or less convulsively, at a pitch above that of a scream, as in great and sudden fright, in horror, or in extreme pain: used sometimes, by hyperbole, of laughter.
  • To utter with a shriek or a shrill wild cry.
  • noun A sharp, shrill outcry: as, the shriek of a whistle; shrieks of laughter. See shriek, v.
  • noun Synonyms Screech etc. See screem.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To utter a loud, sharp, shrill sound or cry, as do some birds and beasts; to scream, as in a sudden fright, in horror or anguish.
  • transitive verb To utter sharply and shrilly; to utter in or with a shriek or shrieks.
  • noun A sharp, shrill outcry or scream; a shrill wild cry such as is caused by sudden or extreme terror, pain, or the like.
  • noun (Zoöl.) The swift; -- so called from its cry.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A sharp, shrill outcry or scream; a shrill wild cry such as is caused by sudden or extreme terror, pain, or the like.
  • verb To utter a loud, sharp, shrill sound or cry, as do some birds and beasts; to scream, as in a sudden fright, in horror or anguish.
  • verb To utter sharply and shrilly; to utter in or with a shriek or shrieks.

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

  • noun sharp piercing cry
  • noun a high-pitched noise resembling a human cry
  • verb utter a shrill cry

Etymologies

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

[Middle English skriken, shriken, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse skrækja.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English scrycke, probably from Old Norse skrækja, itself probably of imitative origin. Cognate to Swedish skrika (skrik), German schreien (Schrei), both with the same meaning, and Albanian grykë ("throat").

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