[ skreech ]
See synonyms for: screechscreeching on

verb (used without object)
  1. to utter or make a harsh, shrill cry or sound: The child screeched hysterically. The brakes screeched.

verb (used with object)
  1. to utter with a screech: She screeched her warning.

  1. a harsh, shrill cry or sound: an owl's screech; the screech of brakes.

Origin of screech

First recorded in 1550–60; variant of obsolete scritch “to scream”; akin to screak

synonym study For screech

1. See scream.

Other words from screech

  • screecher, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use screech in a sentence

  • At his feet gamboled a dwarf that squeaked and screeched, distorting its face in hideous grimaces.

    Under the Rose | Frederic Stewart Isham
  • Before Penny could ask another question, a police patrol car screeched to a standstill just outside the restaurant.

    Ghost Beyond the Gate | Mildred A. Wirt
  • "Git out o' my pilot house an' aft where the police can find you when they come lookin' for you," he screeched.

    Captain Scraggs | Peter B. Kyne
  • An old owl of a woman screeched, and was for killing me with a bottle which she had been holding against her nose.

    The O'Ruddy | Stephen Crane

British Dictionary definitions for screech (1 of 2)


/ (skriːtʃ) /

  1. a shrill, harsh, or high-pitched sound or cry

  1. to utter with or produce a screech

Origin of screech

C16: variant of earlier scritch, of imitative origin

Derived forms of screech

  • screecher, noun

British Dictionary definitions for screech (2 of 2)


/ (skriːtʃ) /

  1. (esp in Newfoundland) a dark rum

Origin of screech

perhaps special use of screech 1

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