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90s Slang You Should Know


[skweel] /skwil/
a somewhat prolonged, sharp, shrill cry, as of pain, fear, or surprise.
  1. an instance of informing against someone.
  2. a protest or complaint; beef.
verb (used without object)
to utter or emit a squeal or squealing sound.
  1. to turn informer; inform.
  2. to protest or complain; beef.
verb (used with object)
to utter or produce with a squeal.
Origin of squeal
1250-1300; Middle English squelen; imitative
Related forms
squealer, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for squeal
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He could not tell the government anything of value even if he wished to "squeal."

    The Barrel Mystery William J. (William James) Flynn
  • They've got us roped and tied and I'd advise you not to squeal.

    The Lady Doc Caroline Lockhart
  • Rudolf could hardly help a squeal of surprise at the sight of the yellow lion and the big shambling bear.

    The Wonderful Bed Gertrude Knevels
  • There came a squeal of amazement from Aggie, a start of incredulity from Garson.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • From under the shingle roof there was a sound of struggling—a thump, as a body hit the ground—an old woman's squeal of rage.

    The Plow-Woman Eleanor Gates
  • When I squeal, Andy, it'll be when there's nothing but the voice left.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • Jake gave a squeal and wriggled with might and main, but his ears held the rope from slipping off.

  • She did not squeal nor shudder, but sat regarding it with gentle pride.

    Four Girls and a Compact Annie Hamilton Donnell
British Dictionary definitions for squeal


a high shrill yelp, as of pain
a screaming sound, as of tyres when a car brakes suddenly
to utter a squeal or with a squeal
(intransitive) (slang) to confess information about another
(intransitive) (informal, mainly Brit) to complain or protest loudly
Derived Forms
squealer, noun
Word Origin
C13 squelen, of imitative origin
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 squeal

c.1300, probably of imitative origin, similar to Old Norse skvala "to cry out" (see squall (v.)). The sense of "inform on another" is first recorded 1865. The noun is attested from 1747.

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



  1. (also squeel) An informer; rat, snitch, stool pigeon: He was working on a case with a squeal, and he knifed him (1750+)
  2. (also squeak) A complaint to the police: cop at stationhouse took the squeal/ The young cops who had caught the squeal didn't know what to do (1908+)


To inform; rat, sing, squawk (1825+)

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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