trill

1
[ tril ]
See synonyms for: trilltrilled on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)
  1. to sing or play with a vibratory or quavering effect.

  2. Phonetics. to produce (a sound) with a trill.

  1. (of birds, insects, etc.) to sing or utter in a succession of rapidly alternating sounds.

verb (used without object)
  1. to resound vibrantly, or with a rapid succession of sounds, as the voice, song, or laughter.

  2. to utter or make a sound or succession of sounds resembling such singing, as a bird, frog, grasshopper, or person laughing.

  1. to execute a shake or trill with the voice or on a musical instrument.

  2. Phonetics. to execute a trill, especially with the tongue, as while singing, talking, or whistling.

noun
  1. the act or sound of trilling.

  2. Music. a rapid alternation of two adjacent tones; a shake.

  1. a similar sound, or succession of sounds, uttered or made by a bird, an insect, a person laughing, etc.

  2. Phonetics.

    • a sequence of repetitive, rapid, vibratory movements produced in any free articulator or membrane by a rush of air expelled from the lungs and often causing a corresponding sequence of contacts between the vibrating articulator and another organ or surface.

    • a speech sound produced by such a trill.

Origin of trill

1
First recorded in 1640–50; from Italian trillo, triglio “quaver or warble in singing,” ultimately from Germanic; compare Dutch trillen “to vibrate,” late Middle English trillen “to shake or rock (something)”

Other words for trill

Other definitions for trill (2 of 2)

trill2
[ tril ]

verb (used without object)
  1. to flow in a thin stream; trickle.

verb (used with object)
  1. to cause to flow in a thin stream.

Origin of trill

2
First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English trillen “to make (something) turn, to roll, flow (said of tears, water),” from Old Danish trijlæ “to roll” (said, e.g., of tears and of a wheelbarrow); compare Norwegian trille , Swedish trilla; see trill1

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use trill in a sentence

  • The song of birds trilled in the air, and the fresh, keen scent of the rain-washed pines was pungent in their nostrils.

  • The Princess Margaret trilled into merriest laughter and reached back a hand to take Joan's fingers in hers protectingly.

    Joan of the Sword Hand | S(amuel) R(utherford) Crockett

British Dictionary definitions for trill (1 of 2)

trill1

/ (trɪl) /


noun
  1. music a melodic ornament consisting of a rapid alternation between a principal note and the note a whole tone or semitone above it: Usual symbol: (written above a note) tr., tr

  2. a shrill warbling sound, esp as made by some birds

  1. phonetics

    • the articulation of an (r) sound produced by holding the tip of the tongue close to the alveolar ridge, allowing the tongue to make a succession of taps against the ridge

    • the production of a similar effect using the uvula against the back of the tongue

verb
  1. to sound, sing, or play (a trill or with a trill)

  2. (tr) to pronounce (an (r) sound) by the production of a trill

Origin of trill

1
C17: from Italian trillo, from trillare, apparently from Middle Dutch trillen to vibrate

British Dictionary definitions for trill (2 of 2)

trill2

/ (trɪl) /


verb, noun
  1. an archaic or poetic word for trickle

Origin of trill

2
C14: probably of Scandinavian origin; related to Norwegian trilla to roll; see trill 1

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