Other forms: shrilled; shriller; shrillest; shrills

A shrill sound is high pitched and sharp, like the squeak of the mouse in your cupboard or the sound of your “eek” when you hear it.

Closer to a shriek than a trill, a shrill tone is one that might make you cover your ears, usually because the tone is so high and sharp. A high pitched voice, a classroom of excited first graders, or the sound of chalk scraping the board can all be shrill, as can a color or light that looks as sharp and intense as a shrill tone sounds.

Definitions of shrill
  1. adjective
    having or emitting a high-pitched and sharp tone or tones
    “a shrill whistle”
    “a shrill gaiety”
    synonyms: piercing, sharp
    high, high-pitched
    used of sounds and voices; high in pitch or frequency
  2. adjective
    being sharply insistent on being heard
    shrill criticism”
    synonyms: strident
    requiring attention or action
  3. adjective
    of colors that are bright and gaudy
    “a shrill turquoise”
    colorful, colourful
    having striking color
  4. verb
    utter a shrill cry
    synonyms: pipe, pipe up, shriek
    see moresee less
    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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DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘shrill'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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