"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[shreek] /ʃrik/
a loud, sharp, shrill cry.
a loud, high sound of laughter.
any loud, shrill sound, as of a whistle.
verb (used without object)
to utter a loud, sharp, shrill cry, as birds.
to cry out sharply in a high voice:
to shriek with pain.
to utter loud, high-pitched sounds in laughing.
(of a musical instrument, a whistle, the wind, etc.) to give forth a loud, shrill sound.
verb (used with object)
to utter in a shriek:
to shriek defiance.
Origin of shriek
1560-70; earlier shrick, N variant of shritch (now dial.), Middle English schrichen, back formation from Old English scriccettan; akin to shrike
Related forms
shrieker, noun
shriekingly, adverb
shrieky, adjective
outshriek, verb (used with object)
1, 5. scream, screech. 5. See scream. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for shriek
  • It was a high pitched shriek that spread over the rooftops.
  • There was no shriek left in her voice and the bounce in her step had changed to a long walk to the locker room.
  • She let out a shriek and bolted for my store, tipping over the stroller as she bolted.
  • Perhaps the shriek of a dying animal enticed the dinosaur into the trap.
  • And don't be surprised if you hear an otherworldly shriek.
  • Too much horrified to speak they can only shriek, shriek.
  • Spotted deer glide through the filtered shade, stopping abruptly when a troop of macaques shriek an alarm call.
  • It's naive to shriek about one and turn away from the other.
  • The engine's low bellow builds to a shriek as the next turn approaches.
  • Any urgent plea is one more deaf shriek that echoes too bleakly to be heard.
British Dictionary definitions for shriek


a shrill and piercing cry
to produce or utter (words, sounds, etc) in a shrill piercing tone
Derived Forms
shrieker, noun
Word Origin
C16: probably from Old Norse skrækja to 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 shriek

16c. variant of scrycke (c.1200), from Old Norse skrækja "to screech" (see screech), probably of imitative origin. Related: Shrieked; shrieking. The noun is attested from 1580s, from the verb.

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



A bit or touch; a dose: each a free-associational shpritz of surreal hi-de-ho

[1970s+; fr Yiddish, literally, ''a squirt'']

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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shriek in Technology
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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