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
Word Family

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