shriek

A high-pitched, piercing cry is a shriek. A common response to finding a snake curled in the silverware drawer would be to shriek.

You can shriek in fear, surprise, or even shriek with laughter. If the sound you make is high, sharp, and loud, it's a shriek. A teenager who sees her favorite movie star might shriek, "Look who it is!" And, little kids in an inflatable bouncy house will very likely shriek with delight. The word shriek sounds very much like what it means, and its Old Norse root skr├Žkja, "to screech," may have originated for that very reason.

DEFINITIONS OF: shriek

1

n sharp piercing cry

Synonyms:
scream, screaming, screech, screeching, shrieking
Type of:
call, cry, outcry, shout, vociferation, yell
a loud utterance; often in protest or opposition

n a high-pitched noise resembling a human cry

Synonyms:
scream, screaming, screech, screeching, shrieking
Type of:
noise
sound of any kind (especially unintelligible or dissonant sound)

v utter a shrill cry

Synonyms:
pipe, pipe up, shrill
Types:
caterwaul, yowl
utter shrieks, as of cats
Type of:
call, cry, holler, hollo, scream, shout, shout out, squall, yell
utter a sudden loud cry
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