[ skreem ]
See synonyms for: screamscreamedscreamingscreams on

verb (used without object)
  1. to utter a loud, sharp, piercing cry.

  2. to emit a shrill, piercing sound: The sirens and whistles screamed.

  1. to laugh immoderately or uncontrollably: The comedian had the audience screaming.

  2. to shout or speak shrilly, especially with harsh or exaggerated words: They screamed across the back fence.

  3. to play or sing in a high, loud, harsh manner.

  4. to be conspicuous or startling: That red dress really screams.

verb (used with object)
  1. to utter with or as if with a loud, piercing cry:His patience exhausted, he screamed the instructions to the class.

  2. to bring (oneself) to a specified condition by loud and shrill shouts or cries: We screamed ourselves hoarse at the concert.

  1. a loud, sharp, piercing cry: Her scream frightened off the burglar.

  2. a shrill, piercing sound: the scream of the tires as the car rounded the curve.

  1. Informal. someone or something that is hilariously funny: The movie was a scream.

Origin of scream

First recorded in 1150–1200; 1905–10 for def. 11; Middle English screamen (verb), (unattested) Old English scrǣman; akin to Old Norse skraumi “chatterbox, braggart,” skruma “to jabber”; sc- (for regular sh- as in Middle English shreame) from obsolete scritch “to screech” (see screech

synonym study For scream

1. Scream, shriek, screech apply to crying out in a loud, piercing way. To scream is to utter a loud, piercing cry, especially of pain, fear, anger, or excitement: to scream with terror. The word is used also for a little, barely audible cry given by one who is startled. Shriek usually refers to a sharper and briefer cry than scream; when caused by fear or pain, it is often indicative of more terror or distress; shriek is also used for shrill uncontrolled cries: to shriek with laughter. Screech emphasizes disagreeable shrillness and harshness, often with a connotation of lack of dignity: to screech approval at a rock concert.

Other words for scream

Other words from scream

  • out·scream, verb (used with object)

Words Nearby scream Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use scream in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for scream


/ (skriːm) /

  1. to utter or emit (a sharp piercing cry or similar sound or sounds), esp as of fear, pain, etc

  2. (intr) to laugh wildly

  1. (intr) to speak, shout, or behave in a wild or impassioned manner

  2. (tr) to bring (oneself) into a specified state by screaming: she screamed herself hoarse

  3. (intr) to be extremely conspicuous: these orange curtains scream, you need more restful colours in a bedroom

  1. a sharp piercing cry or sound, esp one denoting fear or pain

  2. informal a person or thing that causes great amusement

Origin of scream

C13: from Germanic; compare Middle Dutch schreem, West Frisian skrieme to weep

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