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[skreech] /skritʃ/
verb (used without object)
to utter or make a harsh, shrill cry or sound:
The child screeched hysterically. The brakes screeched.
verb (used with object)
to utter with a screech:
She screeched her warning.
a harsh, shrill cry or sound:
an owl's screech; the screech of brakes.
Origin of screech
1550-60; variant of obsolete scritch to scream; akin to screak
Related forms
screecher, noun
1. See scream. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for screeched
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It screeched, threw out its arms, and one of those paws struck against its wounded fellow.

    Star Hunter Andre Alice Norton
  • I could a screeched as loud as any of them if that would a done any good.

    The Hunters' Feast Mayne Reid
  • A night-owl with glowing eyes flew three times round her, and screeched three times 'tu-whit, tu-whit, tu-whoo.'

  • “Not haar me, by thunder,” screeched the other, raising his voice.

    The Island Treasure John Conroy Hutcheson
  • I screeched, flung myself down on the ground, and shut my eyes.

    A Voyage to Arcturus David Lindsay
  • He evaded the friendly hand and screeched in a high-pitched voice.

    The Velvet Glove Harry Harrison
  • Her hull plates twisted and screeched as the steering tubes belched full energy in swinging them from their course.

    The Copper-Clad World Harl Vincent
  • Mabel screeched through her teeth, "Baby's got it, the monster's got it, now baby's got it!"

    Sorry: Wrong Dimension Ross Rocklynne
British Dictionary definitions for screeched


a shrill, harsh, or high-pitched sound or cry
to utter with or produce a screech
Derived Forms
screecher, noun
Word Origin
C16: variant of earlier scritch, of imitative origin


noun (Canadian)
(esp in Newfoundland) a dark rum
Word Origin
perhaps special use of screech1
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 screeched



1570s, alteration of scritch (mid-13c., schrichen), possibly of imitative origin (cf. shriek). Related: Screeched; screeching. Screech-owl is attested from 1590s (scritch-owl is from 1520s).


1550s, from screech (v.). Earlier scritch (1510s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for screeched



Inferior whiskey; PANTHER PISS (1902+), rotgut

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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