[ shril ]
/ ʃrɪl /
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adjective, shrill·er, shrill·est.
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.
verb (used with or without object)
to cry shrilly.
a shrill sound.
in a shrill manner; shrilly.
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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
OTHER WORDS FROM shrillshrillness, nounshrilly, adverboutshrill, verb (used with object)un·shrill, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use shrill in a sentence
Opposites attract, even when they come from different ethnic backgrounds, Rob seems to shrilly scream at the top of its lungs.CBS’s ‘Rob’ Is TV’s Worst New Show|Jace Lacob|January 11, 2012|DAILY BEAST
That this conclusion had been reached by some one else in the car was proved by a woman's voice that rose shrilly above the rest.
Once they thought they heard voices outside, and shrilly they cried to their imaginary rescuers.
Startlingly Mrs. Briggs laughed, shrilly, unpleasantly, as a woman laughs in great fear.Scattergood Baines|Clarence Budington Kelland
She laughed shrilly, with a set, white face; which is the most unmirthful kind of laugh you can imagine.Jaffery|William J. Locke
A minute after that it seemed as though every door in every house on the street slammed shrilly.Molly Make-Believe|Eleanor Hallowell Abbott
British Dictionary definitions for shrill
/ (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 forms of shrillshrillness, 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