Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

squeak

[skweek]
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).
Show More
verb (used without object)
  1. to utter or emit a squeak or squeaky sound.
  2. Slang. to confess or turn informer; squeal.
Show More
verb (used with object)
  1. to utter or sound with a squeak or squeaks.
Show More
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.
Show More

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

British Dictionary definitions for squeak by

squeak

noun
  1. a short shrill cry or high-pitched sound
  2. informal an escape (esp in the phrases narrow squeak, near squeak)
Show More
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
Show More
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.

Show More
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.

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