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[bluhd-kurd-ling, -kur-dl-ing] /ˈblʌdˌkɜrd lɪŋ, -ˌkɜr dl ɪŋ/
arousing terror; horrifying:
a bloodcurdling scream.
Origin of bloodcurdling
First recorded in 1930-35; blood + curdle + -ing2
Related forms
bloodcurdlingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for blood-curdling
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The rest of the sentence was drowned by one blood-curdling whoop that rang with awful shrillness through the silent wood.

    In the Days of Washington William Murray Graydon
  • Roosevelt was enough of a boy rather to relish things that were blood-curdling.

  • Some observers contend that the lion never gives that blood-curdling cry assigned to him.

  • The screech-owl in the yew-tree emitted a blood-curdling scream.

    They and I Jerome K. Jerome
  • He cried out in blood-curdling fury because other men were smarter than he was.

    Space Tug Murray Leinster
  • blood-curdling yells of defiance were the only answer to our prayers.

  • I took a long breath, and gave vent to a blood-curdling shriek which would have made the fortune of an actress on the stage.

    The Motor Maid Alice Muriel Williamson and Charles Norris Williamson
British Dictionary definitions for blood-curdling


terrifying; horrifying
Derived Forms
bloodcurdlingly, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for blood-curdling

also bloodcurdling, 1817, from blood (n.) + present participle of curdle. Also formerly with a noun form, bloodcurdler "incident which freezes the blood," especially "sensational story," 1877, slang; also in use in this sense was blood-freezer (1886).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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