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squeak

[skweek]
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noun
  1. a short, sharp, shrill cry; a sharp, high-pitched sound.
  2. Informal. opportunity; chance: their last squeak to correct the manuscript.
  3. an escape from defeat, danger, death, or destruction (usually qualified by narrow or close).
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verb (used without object)
  1. to utter or emit a squeak or squeaky sound.
  2. Slang. to confess or turn informer; squeal.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to utter or sound with a squeak or squeaks.
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Verb Phrases
  1. squeak by/through, to succeed, survive, pass, win, etc., by a very narrow margin: They can barely squeak by on their income. The team managed to squeak through.
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Origin of squeak

1350–1400; Middle English squeken, perhaps < Scandinavian; compare Swedish skväka to croak
Related formssqueak·ing·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for squeak

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I thought I'd shouted it, but it sounded just like a squeak.

    W. A. G.'s Tale

    Margaret Turnbull

  • Anywhere but that rocker, I mean; that's got a squeak in the leg.

    Cap'n Dan's Daughter

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • "Don't you so much as squeak, Mr. Castro," a voice whispered in my ear.

    Romance

    Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

  • He had cracked his voice at last, and could only squeak miserably.

  • You've got two notes at present, and one's a squeak and t'other's a grumble.

    Despair's Last Journey

    David Christie Murray


British Dictionary definitions for squeak

squeak

noun
  1. a short shrill cry or high-pitched sound
  2. informal an escape (esp in the phrases narrow squeak, near squeak)
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verb
  1. to make or cause to make a squeak
  2. (intr ; usually foll by through or by) to pass with only a narrow marginto squeak through an examination
  3. (intr) informal to confess information about oneself or another
  4. (tr) to utter with a squeak
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Derived Formssqueaker, nounsqueaky, adjectivesqueakily, adverbsqueakiness, noun

Word Origin

C17: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Swedish skväka to croak
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 squeak

v.

late 14c., probably of imitative origin, similar to Middle Swedish skväka "to squeak, croak." Related: Squeaked; squeaking. The noun is from 1660s; sense of "narrow escape" is from 1822.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper