Only the parasites seemed to live there in a sinuous rush upwards into the air and sunshine, feeding on the dead and the dying alike, and crowning their victims with pink and blue flowers that gleamed amongst the boughs, incongruous and cruel, like a strident and mocking note in the solemn harmony of the doomed trees.
-- Joseph Conrad, Almayer's Folly, 1895
Malka's voice became more strident than ever. She had been anxious to make a species of vicarious reparation to her first husband, and the failure of Milly to acquiesce in the arrangement was a source of real vexation.
-- Israel Zangwill, Children of the Ghetto: A Study of a Peculiar People, 1892
Strident entered English in the mid-1600s from the Latin strīdēre meaning "to make a harsh noise."