[ skwawk ]
/ skwɔk /

verb (used without object)

to utter a loud, harsh cry, as a duck or other fowl when frightened.
Informal. to complain loudly and vehemently.

verb (used with object)

to utter or give forth with a squawk.


a loud, harsh cry or sound.
Informal. a loud, vehement complaint.
the black-crowned night heron.See under night heron.

Origin of squawk

1815–25; blend of squall2 and hawk3
Related formssquawk·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for squawk

  • The show was named Squawk on the Street, which makes me think more of puppets than stocks.

  • I would like you to tell Mrs. Meredith that the Squawk is like all other babies in the world and hear what she has to say!

    Banked Fires|E. W. (Ethel Winifred) Savi

British Dictionary definitions for squawk


/ (skwɔːk) /


a loud raucous cry; screech
informal a loud complaint or protest


to utter a squawk or with a squawk
(intr) informal to complain loudly
Derived Formssquawker, noun

Word Origin for squawk

C19: of imitative origin
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 squawk



1821, probably of imitative origin (cf. dialectal Italian squacco "small crested heron"). The noun is attested from 1850. Squawk-box "loud-speaker" is from 1945.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper