- 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
Examples from the Web for shriller
His voice is now shriller, the sobbing more pathetic, and the words begin to garble as he swallows water.Whatever You Do Someone Will Die. A Short Story About Impossible Choices in Iraq
Nathan Bradley Bethea
August 31, 2014
The sound was repeated, but louder, clearer, shriller than before.The Woman Thou Gavest Me
His voice lifted until it was its shriller, more natural falsetto.Once to Every Man
The landlady grew all the shriller at that, and silenced my mother impatiently.The Promised Land
There were voices, too, of shriller intonation, that might have proceeded from the throats of women.The Boy Slaves
It is a kind of lowing, but shriller, and not near so loud as that of the European Ox.Delineations of the Ox Tribe
- 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 shriller
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.