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

adj having or emitting a high-pitched and sharp tone or tones

“a shrill whistle”
“a shrill gaiety”
piercing, sharp
high, high-pitched
used of sounds and voices; high in pitch or frequency

adj being sharply insistent on being heard

shrill criticism”
requiring attention or action

adj of colors that are bright and gaudy

“a shrill turquoise”
colorful, colourful
having striking color

v utter a shrill cry

pipe, pipe up, shriek
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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