- high-pitched and piercing in sound quality: a shrill cry.
- producing such a sound.
- full of or characterized by such a sound: shrill music.
- betraying some strong emotion or attitude in an exaggerated amount, as antagonism or defensiveness.
- marked by great intensity; keen: the shrill, incandescent light of the exploding bomb.
- to cry shrilly.
- a shrill sound.
- in a shrill manner; shrilly.
Origin of shrill
Related Wordsearsplitting, piercing, raucous, deafening, sharp, discordant, strident, noisy, treble, penetrating, blaring, piping, thin, clanging, screeching, acute, blatant, cacophonous, high, metallic
Examples from the Web for shrill
Behind a chorus of shrill insects, the pops of gunfire can sometimes be heard in the distance.A Belgian Prince, Gorillas, Guerrillas & the Future of the Congo
November 6, 2014
“When I was doing press for Whitney, critics were commenting on my appearance, saying I was shrill, saying I was needy,” she says.Why Whitney Cummings’ Dick Jokes Are Important
June 25, 2014
We're so used to seeing in sitcoms the same relationship: the naggy, shrill wife who's constantly bickering with her husband.‘Surviving Jack’ Star Rachael Harris Is No Longer ‘The Bitch'
March 27, 2014
The noise in the stadium grew for every point he won, but the points he lost were greeted with shrill, desperate screams.How to Hide a Famine with Ping-Pong
January 9, 2014
Her voice was shrill with disbelief and choked with grief as she spoke to someone on her cell phone in Fujianese.Brooklyn Mother, Four Children Allegedly Slain by Jealous Cousin
October 28, 2013
There was a sharp, shrill cry from the boy, and Dozier whirled on him.Way of the Lawless
But the new voice was stilled into nothingness by the shrill, reawakening falsetto.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
So saying, he put his fingers to his lips and blew a shrill whistle.The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
Camille gave a shrill laugh, so funny did the idea appear to her.The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
Wat's voice was shrill in the land, yelling, exhorting, screaming.Slaves of Mercury
- sharp and high-pitched in quality
- emitting a sharp high-pitched sound
- to utter (words, sounds, etc) in a shrill tone
- (tr) rare to cause to produce a shrill sound
Word Origin and History for shrill
late 14c., schrylle "high-pitched, piercing" (of the voice), probably related to Old English scralletan "to sound loudly" and of imitative origin (cf. Low German schrell, German schrill "piercing, shrill"). Related: Shrillness; shrilly (adv.).
"to sound shrilly," c.1300, imitative (see shrill (adj.). Related: Shrilled; shrilling.