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  1. a somewhat prolonged, sharp, shrill cry, as of pain, fear, or surprise.
  2. Slang.
    1. an instance of informing against someone.
    2. a protest or complaint; beef.
verb (used without object)
  1. to utter or emit a squeal or squealing sound.
  2. Slang.
    1. to turn informer; inform.
    2. to protest or complain; beef.
verb (used with object)
  1. to utter or produce with a squeal.

Origin of squeal

1250–1300; Middle English squelen; imitative
Related formssqueal·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for squealer


  1. a high shrill yelp, as of pain
  2. a screaming sound, as of tyres when a car brakes suddenly
  1. to utter a squeal or with a squeal
  2. (intr) slang to confess information about another
  3. (intr) informal, mainly British to complain or protest loudly
Derived Formssquealer, 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

Word Origin and History for squealer



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