- a loud, sharp, shrill cry.
- a loud, high sound of laughter.
- any loud, shrill sound, as of a whistle.
- to utter a loud, sharp, shrill cry, as birds.
- to cry out sharply in a high voice: to shriek with pain.
- to utter loud, high-pitched sounds in laughing.
- (of a musical instrument, a whistle, the wind, etc.) to give forth a loud, shrill sound.
- to utter in a shriek: to shriek defiance.
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
SynonymsSee more synonyms for shriek on Thesaurus.com
1, 5. scream, screech. 5. See scream.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for shrieky
All day we've heard the band with its drums and trombones and shrieky music.Evening Round Up
William Crosbie Hunter
Omnipotence of droning, edged with shrieky squealing, which fills the Universe, not at all in a melodious way.
From the depths of the gamut to the shrieky top again,—a droning that has something of porcine or wild-boar character.
- a shrill and piercing cry
- to produce or utter (words, sounds, etc) in a shrill piercing tone
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 shrieky
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