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8 Wintry Words to Defrost Your Vocabulary

scream

[skreem] /skrim/
verb (used without object)
1.
to utter a loud, sharp, piercing cry.
2.
to emit a shrill, piercing sound:
The sirens and whistles screamed.
3.
to laugh immoderately or uncontrollably:
The comedian had the audience screaming.
4.
to shout or speak shrilly, especially with harsh or exaggerated words:
They screamed across the back fence.
5.
to play or sing in a high, loud, harsh manner.
6.
to be conspicuous or startling:
That red dress really screams.
verb (used with object)
7.
to utter with or as if with a scream or screams.
8.
to make by screaming:
to scream oneself hoarse.
noun
9.
a loud, sharp, piercing cry:
Her scream frightened off the burglar.
10.
a shrill, piercing sound:
the scream of the tires as the car rounded the curve.
11.
Informal. someone or something that is hilariously funny:
The movie was a scream.
Origin
1150-1200
1150-1200; 1905-10 for def 11; Middle English screamen (v.), Old English *scrǣman; akin to Old Norse skraumi chatterbox, braggart, skruma to jabber; sc- (for regular sh- as in Middle English shreame) from obsolete scritch to screech
Related forms
outscream, verb (used with object)
Synonyms
1. Scream, shriek, screech apply to crying out in a loud, piercing way. To scream is to utter a loud, piercing cry, especially of pain, fear, anger, or excitement: to scream with terror. The word is used also for a little, barely audible cry given by one who is startled. Shriek usually refers to a sharper and briefer cry than scream; when caused by fear or pain, it is often indicative of more terror or distress; shriek is also used for shrill uncontrolled cries: to shriek with laughter. Screech emphasizes disagreeable shrillness and harshness, often with a connotation of lack of dignity: to screech approval at a rock concert. 9. outcry, shriek, screech, screak.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for screamed
  • Overhead, a red-tailed hawk screamed out its call, agitating the little brown birds at the water's edge.
  • The hunters screamed at each other, the seas heaved and the boats drifted toward the fierce cliffs.
  • The rest of the colony came to her aide, and then screamed and chased one another for a while.
  • No one screamed, he said, but a few professors were frightened.
  • In reform school, he got into fights and screamed obscenities at the staff.
  • The females leaped to the low branches of a tree and, leaning down, screamed piercingly at the baboons below.
  • The elephant screamed and thrashed the bushes with his trunk, tottering on three legs.
  • My own personal oceans have screamed often and loudly during my peripatetic life.
  • She screamed in mortal agony, but she knew that her screams did not fall on sympathetic ears.
  • Hyacinth macaws screamed harshly as they flew across the river.
British Dictionary definitions for screamed

scream

/skriːm/
verb
1.
to utter or emit (a sharp piercing cry or similar sound or sounds), esp as of fear, pain, etc
2.
(intransitive) to laugh wildly
3.
(intransitive) to speak, shout, or behave in a wild or impassioned manner
4.
(transitive) to bring (oneself) into a specified state by screaming: she screamed herself hoarse
5.
(intransitive) to be extremely conspicuous: these orange curtains scream, you need more restful colours in a bedroom
noun
6.
a sharp piercing cry or sound, esp one denoting fear or pain
7.
(informal) a person or thing that causes great amusement
Word Origin
C13: from Germanic; compare Middle Dutch schreem, West Frisian skrieme to weep
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for screamed

scream

v.

late 12c., scræmen, of uncertain origin, similar to words in Scandinavian, Dutch, German, and Flemish (cf. Old Norse skræma "to terrify, scare," Swedish scrana "to scream," Dutch schreijen "cry aloud, shriek," Old High German scrian, German schreien "to cry"). Related: Screamed; screaming. Screaming meemies is World War I army slang, originally a soldiers' name for a type of German artillery shell that made a loud noise in flight (from French woman's name Mimi), extended to the battle fatigue caused by long exposure to enemy fire.

n.

mid-15c., from scream (v.).

And (as they say) lamentings heard i' th' Ayre; Strange Schreemes of Death. ["Macbeth," II.iii.61]
Shakespeare's spelling probably reflects "sk-" as spelled in words from Latin (e.g. school); he also has schreene for screen. Slang meaning "something that evokes a cry of laughter" is 1888; screamer in this sense is from 1831.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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