[bluhd-kurd-ling, -kur-dl-ing]


arousing terror; horrifying: a bloodcurdling scream.

Origin of bloodcurdling

First recorded in 1930–35; blood + curdle + -ing2
Related formsblood·cur·dling·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for blood-curdling

Contemporary Examples of blood-curdling

Historical Examples of blood-curdling

  • Then she went through the most blood-curdling pantomime ever was, I reckon.

    Cape Cod Stories

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • I had not long to wait before I heard a blood-curdling yell and then crash!

  • What need to tell here the blood-curdling story of the Hussite Wars?

  • A gentle rowdy of twelve will speak the Duke's blood-curdling lines.

    Wappin' Wharf

    Charles S. Brooks

  • Roosevelt was enough of a boy rather to relish things that were blood-curdling.

British Dictionary definitions for blood-curdling



terrifying; horrifying
Derived Formsbloodcurdlingly, adverb
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 blood-curdling

also bloodcurdling, 1817, from blood (n.) + present participle of curdle. Also formerly with a noun form, bloodcurdler "incident which freezes the blood," especially "sensational story," 1877, slang; also in use in this sense was blood-freezer (1886).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper