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shriek

[shreek] /ʃrik/
noun
1.
a loud, sharp, shrill cry.
2.
a loud, high sound of laughter.
3.
any loud, shrill sound, as of a whistle.
verb (used without object)
4.
to utter a loud, sharp, shrill cry, as birds.
5.
to cry out sharply in a high voice:
to shriek with pain.
6.
to utter loud, high-pitched sounds in laughing.
7.
(of a musical instrument, a whistle, the wind, etc.) to give forth a loud, shrill sound.
verb (used with object)
8.
to utter in a shriek:
to shriek defiance.
Origin of shriek
1560-1570
1560-70; earlier shrick, N variant of shritch (now dial.), Middle English schrichen, back formation from Old English scriccettan; akin to shrike
Related forms
shrieker, noun
shriekingly, adverb
shrieky, adjective
outshriek, verb (used with object)
Synonyms
1, 5. scream, screech. 5. See scream.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for shriek
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Through the cold and darkness came a shriek that chilled her with horror.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • It was rather a frightful place to go into in search of the source of a shriek.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • Yet, in the intensity of her utterance, the feeble whisper struck like a shriek of horror.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • By degrees her voice had lost its cooing tone and had risen to a shriek.

    The Bacillus of Beauty Harriet Stark
  • At this juncture the brakes began to shriek and grind upon the wheels.

    The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance
British Dictionary definitions for shriek

shriek

/ʃriːk/
noun
1.
a shrill and piercing cry
verb
2.
to produce or utter (words, sounds, etc) in a shrill piercing tone
Derived Forms
shrieker, noun
Word Origin
C16: probably from Old Norse skrækja to 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 shriek
v.

16c. variant of scrycke (c.1200), from Old Norse skrækja "to screech" (see screech), probably of imitative origin. Related: Shrieked; shrieking. The noun is attested from 1580s, from the verb.

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

shriek

noun

  1. An exclamation point; bang, shout (1864+ Print shop)
  2. istilled and concentrated heroin; black tar (mid-1980s+)
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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Nearby words for shriek

Word Value for shriek

13
12
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