Nearby words

  1. shrieval,
  2. shrievalty,
  3. shrieve,
  4. shrift,
  5. shrike,
  6. shrimp,
  7. shrimp plant,
  8. shrimper,
  9. shrimpfish,
  10. shrine

Origin of shrill

1300–50; Middle English shrille (adj., v.); akin to Old English scrallettan to sound loudly; cognate with German schrill (adj.), schrillen (v.); compare Old Norse skrīll rabble

Related formsshrill·ness, nounshril·ly, adverbout·shrill, verb (used with object)un·shrill, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for shriller

British Dictionary definitions for shriller


/ (ʃrɪl) /


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
Derived Formsshrillness, nounshrilly, adverb

Word Origin for shrill

C14: probably from Old English scralletan; related to German schrill shrill, Dutch schrallen to shriek

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 shriller
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper