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shrill

[shril] /ʃrɪl/
adjective, shriller, shrillest.
1.
high-pitched and piercing in sound quality:
a shrill cry.
2.
producing such a sound.
3.
full of or characterized by such a sound:
shrill music.
4.
betraying some strong emotion or attitude in an exaggerated amount, as antagonism or defensiveness.
5.
marked by great intensity; keen:
the shrill, incandescent light of the exploding bomb.
verb (used with or without object)
6.
to cry shrilly.
noun
7.
a shrill sound.
adverb
8.
in a shrill manner; shrilly.
Origin of shrill
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English shrille (adj., v.); akin to Old English scrallettan to sound loudly; cognate with German schrill (adj.), schrillen (v.); compare Old Norse skrīll rabble
Related forms
shrillness, noun
shrilly, adverb
outshrill, verb (used with object)
unshrill, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for shrilling
Historical Examples
  • "I've really had a wonderful time," the lavender stocking was shrilling.

    Erik Dorn

    Ben Hecht
  • Their shrilling noise is occasioned by a brisk attrition of their wings.

  • It was the shrilling of a police whistle far off down the Embankment.

    Cleek, the Master Detective

    Thomas W. Hanshew
  • It is brave as voices of the shrilling winds and warmer, viriler.

    I, Mary MacLane Mary MacLane
  • He had not run five yards when a chorus of whistles was shrilling.

    The Lord of the Sea M. P. Shiel
  • Later, the shrilling wind from the East surrendered to the booming of the equinox.

    Guy and Pauline Compton Mackenzie
  • Paderewski, however, kept right on through the blasts and shrilling.

  • Later, the shrilling wind from the east surrendered to the booming of the equinox.

    Plashers Mead Compton Mackenzie
  • Sara's voice, shrilling a little with anxiety, came to him out of the darkness.

    The Hermit of Far End Margaret Pedler
  • "Startling news from Samavia," the newsboy was shrilling out.

    The Lost Prince Frances Hodgson Burnett
British Dictionary definitions for shrilling

shrill

/ʃrɪl/
adjective
1.
sharp and high-pitched in quality
2.
emitting a sharp high-pitched sound
verb
3.
to utter (words, sounds, etc) in a shrill tone
4.
(transitive) (rare) to cause to produce a shrill sound
Derived Forms
shrillness, noun
shrilly, adverb
Word Origin
C14: probably from Old English scralletan; related to German schrill shrill, Dutch schrallen to shriek
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 shrilling

shrill

adj.

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.).

shrill

v.

"to sound shrilly," c.1300, imitative (see shrill (adj.). Related: Shrilled; shrilling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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13
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