a somewhat prolonged, sharp, shrill cry, as of pain, fear, or surprise.
  1. an instance of informing against someone.
  2. a protest or complaint; beef.

verb (used without object)

to utter or emit a squeal or squealing sound.
  1. to turn informer; inform.
  2. to protest or complain; beef.

verb (used with object)

to utter or produce with a squeal.

Origin of squeal

1250–1300; Middle English squelen; imitative
Related formssqueal·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for squeal

Contemporary Examples of squeal

Historical Examples of squeal

  • There came a squeal of amazement from Aggie, a start of incredulity from Garson.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • When I squeal, Andy, it'll be when there's nothing but the voice left.


    W. A. Fraser

  • I'll not be trapped this way by her and let her off without a squeal.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • My friend, you get your hands on him, and I'll squeal on him till I'm blue in the face.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • She did not squeal nor shudder, but sat regarding it with gentle pride.

    Four Girls and a Compact

    Annie Hamilton Donnell

British Dictionary definitions for squeal



a high shrill yelp, as of pain
a screaming sound, as of tyres when a car brakes suddenly


to utter a squeal or with a squeal
(intr) slang to confess information about another
(intr) informal, mainly British to complain or protest loudly
Derived Formssquealer, noun

Word Origin for squeal

C13 squelen, 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 squeal

c.1300, probably of imitative origin, similar to Old Norse skvala "to cry out" (see squall (v.)). The sense of "inform on another" is first recorded 1865. The noun is attested from 1747.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper