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. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for squeak by

squeak

/ (skwiːk) /

noun

a short shrill cry or high-pitched sound
informal an escape (esp in the phrases narrow squeak, near squeak)

verb

to make or cause to make a squeak
(intr ; usually foll by through or by) to pass with only a narrow marginto squeak through an examination
(intr) informal to confess information about oneself or another
(tr) to utter with a squeak
Derived Formssqueaker, nounsqueaky, adjectivesqueakily, adverbsqueakiness, noun

Word Origin for squeak

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 by

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with squeak by

squeak by


Also, squeak through. Manage barely to pass, win, survive, or the like, as in They are just squeaking by on their income, or He squeaked through the driver's test. This idiom transfers squeak in the sense of “barely emit a sound” to “narrowly manage something.” [First half of 1900s] Also see squeeze through.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.