To squeal is to make a sharp, high-pitched cry, the way a piglet squeals or the excited way your little sister will squeal when she sees the huge birthday cake you made for her.

Grab a piglet by the tail and you'll hear a squeal. You can also bring a bunch of puppies to a kindergarten class to hear a lot of kids squeal in delight. Squeal is an imitative word, one that came from the sound it describes, similar to skvala, or "cry out" in Old Norse, and the English squall, "to cry out loudly."

Definitions of squeal
  1. verb
    utter a high-pitched cry, characteristic of pigs
    synonyms: oink
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    type of:
    emit, let loose, let out, utter
    express audibly; utter sounds (not necessarily words)
  2. verb
    confess to a punishable or reprehensible deed, usually under pressure
    synonyms: confess, fink
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    type of:
    acknowledge, admit
    declare to be true or admit the existence or reality or truth of
  3. noun
    a high-pitched howl
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    type of:
    a loud sustained noise resembling the cry of a hound
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