"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[skreech] /skritʃ/
verb (used without object)
to utter or make a harsh, shrill cry or sound:
The child screeched hysterically. The brakes screeched.
verb (used with object)
to utter with a screech:
She screeched her warning.
a harsh, shrill cry or sound:
an owl's screech; the screech of brakes.
Origin of screech
1550-60; variant of obsolete scritch to scream; akin to screak
Related forms
screecher, noun
1. See scream. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for screech
  • Many athletes grunt, but these too screech or scream.
  • The screech was the kind that curls the teeth and curdles the blood.
  • Some editors would screech and yelp when they got excited about a manuscript.
  • Another will screech when a vehicle approaches too fast from the side.
  • There's a horrible, fingernails-on-chalkboard screech every time the vehicle comes to a stop.
  • It is to the office what the blue jay's screech is to the garden.
  • Toucans screech from low branches, and monkeys leap from tree to tree.
  • To ban a book- even a violent how-to makes my mind screech in response.
  • But there was no burned-rubber screech of tires on asphalt.
  • If you looked as stunning as that, you'd have the right to screech around as much as you wanted to as well.
British Dictionary definitions for screech


a shrill, harsh, or high-pitched sound or cry
to utter with or produce a screech
Derived Forms
screecher, noun
Word Origin
C16: variant of earlier scritch, of imitative origin


noun (Canadian)
(esp in Newfoundland) a dark rum
Word Origin
perhaps special use of screech1
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 screech

1570s, alteration of scritch (mid-13c., schrichen), possibly of imitative origin (cf. shriek). Related: Screeched; screeching. Screech-owl is attested from 1590s (scritch-owl is from 1520s).


1550s, from screech (v.). Earlier scritch (1510s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for screech



Inferior whiskey; PANTHER PISS (1902+), rotgut

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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