verb (used without object)

verb (used with object)

to utter in a shriek: to shriek defiance.

Nearby words

  1. shrewish,
  2. shrewishly,
  3. shrewmouse,
  4. shrewsbury,
  5. shri,
  6. shrieval,
  7. shrievalty,
  8. shrieve,
  9. shrift,
  10. shrike

Origin of shriek

1560–70; earlier shrick, N variant of shritch (now dial.), Middle English schrichen, back formation from Old English scriccettan; akin to shrike

Related formsshriek·er, nounshriek·ing·ly, adverbshriek·y, adjectiveout·shriek, verb (used with object) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for shriek

British Dictionary definitions for shriek



a shrill and piercing cry


to produce or utter (words, sounds, etc) in a shrill piercing tone
Derived Formsshrieker, noun

Word Origin for shriek

C16: probably from Old Norse skrækja to 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

Word Origin and History for shriek



16c. variant of scrycke (c.1200), from Old Norse skrækja "to screech" (see screech), probably of imitative origin. Related: Shrieked; shrieking. The noun is attested from 1580s, from the verb.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper