[ shreek ]
See synonyms for: shriekshriekedshriekingshrieker on

  1. a loud, sharp, shrill cry.

  2. a loud, high sound of laughter.

  1. any loud, shrill sound, as of a whistle.

verb (used without object)
  1. to utter a loud, sharp, shrill cry, as birds.

  2. to cry out sharply in a high voice: to shriek with pain.

  1. to utter loud, high-pitched sounds in laughing.

  2. (of a musical instrument, a whistle, the wind, etc.) to give forth a loud, shrill sound.

verb (used with object)
  1. to utter in a shriek: to shriek defiance.

Origin of shriek

First recorded in 1560–70; earlier shrick, northern variant of shritch (now dialect), Middle English schrichen, back formation from Old English scriccettan; akin to shrike

synonym study For shriek

5. See scream.

Other words for shriek

Other words from shriek

  • shrieker, noun
  • shriek·ing·ly, adverb
  • shrieky, adjective
  • outshriek, verb (used with object) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use shriek in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for shriek


/ (ʃriːk) /

  1. a shrill and piercing cry

  1. to produce or utter (words, sounds, etc) in a shrill piercing tone

Origin of shriek

C16: probably from Old Norse skrækja to screech 1

Derived forms of shriek

  • shrieker, noun

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