- high-pitched and piercing in sound quality: a shrill cry.
- producing such a sound.
- full of or characterized by such a sound: shrill music.
- betraying some strong emotion or attitude in an exaggerated amount, as antagonism or defensiveness.
- marked by great intensity; keen: the shrill, incandescent light of the exploding bomb.
- to cry shrilly.
- a shrill sound.
- in a shrill manner; shrilly.
Origin of shrill
Examples from the Web for shrillest
The anguish of her whisper was more piercing than the shrillest cry.An Outcast of the Islands
The one that has the shrillest voice and can scream the loudest is most successful.The Complete Essays of C. D. Warner
Charles Dudley Warner
But the shrillest cries of all came from the third class of complainants.The King's Cup-Bearer
Amy Catherine Walton
Sara saw him coming and screamed her shrillest and savagest at him.Michael, Brother of Jerry
Ronnie was waving his little hat and shouting the shrillest of cheers, and Mrs. Trevellyan was clapping her best.The School by the Sea
- sharp and high-pitched in quality
- emitting a sharp high-pitched sound
- to utter (words, sounds, etc) in a shrill tone
- (tr) rare to cause to produce a shrill sound
Word Origin and History for shrillest
late 14c., schrylle "high-pitched, piercing" (of the voice), probably related to Old English scralletan "to sound loudly" and of imitative origin (cf. Low German schrell, German schrill "piercing, shrill"). Related: Shrillness; shrilly (adv.).
"to sound shrilly," c.1300, imitative (see shrill (adj.). Related: Shrilled; shrilling.