• synonyms


verb (used without object)
  1. to utter a loud, harsh cry, as a duck or other fowl when frightened.
  2. Informal. to complain loudly and vehemently.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to utter or give forth with a squawk.
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  1. a loud, harsh cry or sound.
  2. Informal. a loud, vehement complaint.
  3. the black-crowned night heron.See under night heron.
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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. 2018

Examples from the Web for squawker

Historical Examples

  • "Squealer and Squawker both went into the heap that time, I guess," said Rudolf.

    The Wonderful Bed

    Gertrude Knevels

  • Squawker seemed quite pleased, however, and turned himself round and round for their approval.

    The Wonderful Bed

    Gertrude Knevels

British Dictionary definitions for squawker


  1. a loud raucous cry; screech
  2. informal a loud complaint or protest
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  1. to utter a squawk or with a squawk
  2. (intr) informal to complain loudly
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Derived Formssquawker, noun

Word Origin

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 squawker



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper