Definition of scream in English:

scream

verb

[no object]
  • 1Give a long, loud, piercing cry or cries expressing extreme emotion or pain.

    ‘they could hear him screaming in pain’
    ‘a harassed mum with a screaming child’
    • ‘He screamed loudly in agony and flew bolt upright, clutching his arm and cursing.’
    • ‘By the end of the entire ordeal, my cheeks were tear-stained and my lips raw from biting back the pain rather than screaming out loud again.’
    • ‘Her hands were shaking, her body trembling but her voice screamed forcefully into the phone.’
    • ‘I was practically screaming at the top of my lungs by the end.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, security forces dragged screaming residents out of homes, and settlers elsewhere burned houses and fields in protest.’
    • ‘She screamed in horror as she fell, thinking she was soon to die.’
    • ‘He screams in pain when he learns that his wife has been killed in the explosion.’
    • ‘It's very unpleasant for a reasonably proud person such as myself to be in a position where I'm screaming with pain.’
    • ‘Rachel screamed out in pain as tears began rolling down her cheeks.’
    • ‘I screamed when the pain began then bit my bottom lip refusing to scream again.’
    • ‘But before they could make any other moves, someone screamed at the top of their lungs.’
    • ‘They took Lydia and me back to the house, with Lydia screaming the entire time.’
    • ‘The victim's older brother recalled seeing his brother in the garden seconds before he heard him screaming in pain.’
    • ‘Eva screamed with delight, hugging her sister tightly when she opened the door.’
    • ‘Suddenly, he heard voices screaming in terror, horrible shrieks emitting from the front grounds.’
    • ‘She threw her arms around Noah, still jumping and screaming with joy.’
    • ‘I then threw the sheet aside and ran screaming from his house.’
    • ‘I went outside and phoned all our friends and family, and came back to the ward to hear your mother screaming with pain.’
    • ‘She screamed into her pillow, releasing her frustration into the creamy white sheet.’
    • ‘I almost screamed in frustration, was it always about the game with her?’
    1. 1.1reporting verb Cry something in a high-pitched, frenzied way.
      no object ‘I ran to the house screaming for help’
      with direct speech ‘‘Get out!’ he screamed’
      with object ‘he screamed abuse down the phone’
      • ‘Her mother was screaming filthy obscenities and it was wrong of her to do that.’
      • ‘He was driven to Harrogate police station screaming abuse throughout the journey.’
      • ‘Blaze ran into the house, screaming something about telling Auri, while Ariella just stood there silently.’
      • ‘It was now he started screaming, ‘The house is really on fire. Get anything you can and get out!’’
      • ‘Halfway through Smyth is screaming what sounds like ‘Lenny Henry!’’
      • ‘Three people were down the hall, and a girl was screaming for help.’
      • ‘With the crowd screaming our last name like there was no tomorrow, a mother was proud.’
      • ‘His burning impulse is to exit in sound and fury, screaming outright the profane secrets he merely hinted at in his earlier comments.’
      • ‘All three blogs wrote that Wilson later stormed down Senate halls, screaming obscenities.’
      • ‘A nurse came rushing in, and upon seeing my anger, screamed for a doctor.’
      • ‘Mila's solace was then disrupted when she heard a group of people from the crowd scream her name.’
      • ‘A neighbour heard the women screaming for help, pleading with her son to stop.’
      • ‘He told me that it finally ended with his ex after she spent six hours screaming abuse in his face in their living room.’
      • ‘There are the odd occasions where they shout and scream abuse and are taken off to Westlea Police Station.’
      • ‘She screamed a high pitch screech and turned to face the voice.’
      • ‘As I wrestled with her on the pavement she screamed abuse in my face and tried to kick Paul.’
      • ‘If most of your weekends are spent watching the footy and screaming instructions and abuse at the players on TV, then why not put your vast football knowledge to better use.’
      • ‘He is the perfect example of a teenager that is all but screaming aloud for help.’
      • ‘When a woman saw two men arrive in a car outside a public house, she tried to scream a warning to the man she believed to be their target.’
      • ‘For a moment it sounded like a woman screaming for help.’
      shriek, screech, yell, howl, shout, bellow, bawl, cry out, call out, yawp, yelp, squeal, wail, squawk, squall, caterwaul, whoop
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Urgently and vociferously call attention to one's views or feelings, especially ones of anger or distress.
      with clause ‘his supporters scream that he is being done an injustice’
      figurative ‘the creative side of me is screaming out for attention’
      • ‘At some point, though, our inner lives may scream for our attention, and this can come as a complete surprise.’
      • ‘Meanwhile they screamed, ‘Why do French film-makers demand real sex?’’
      • ‘Her naked pain screams from the pages of the book.’
      • ‘A small child in the back room screams for attention, waking another child in the cradle in the far side of the living room.’
      • ‘It's his favorite move, and history screams that it'll hurt the campaign if he insists on it.’
      • ‘Sarah woke to the sound of her mother screaming at her again.’
      • ‘Then there were the morning newspaper headlines which had screamed of yet another move to entice the Old Firm south.’
      • ‘My brain was screaming at me to move away as I walked towards the pool.’
      • ‘‘The last he saw Harry, a fireman was screaming at him to get out,’ said his brother-in-law.’
      • ‘Whether I disciplined him or ignored him, his actions would cause Kanisha to scream like an air-raid siren.’
      • ‘One of my earliest childhood memories is of my little sister screaming, ‘Move out of the way, big back!’’
      • ‘I hadn't realized he was screaming at me to move, until he hit me.’
      • ‘A thousand questions are screaming for attention at the back of my skull, and it's hard ignoring them all.’
      • ‘Your training partner is screaming for you to move the bar an inch, half of an inch - anything to prove you're still alive, but your strength is all gone.’
      • ‘The organisation literally yells and screams about how others ‘kill animals’ but this is how they operate?’
      • ‘The ambulance instantly ground to a halt and the driver leaned out of his window and screamed for Patrick to move out of the way.’
      • ‘It's easy to jump up and down and scream about a move like this, but it addresses the symptom, not the underlying question.’
      • ‘The press-people are screaming for more information.’
      • ‘The younger of the two finally regained her bearing and stood up, ready to indignantly scream at her sister.’
      • ‘If so, there are three crucial issues that scream for immediate attention and carry the least political risk for him.’
  • 2Make a loud, high-pitched sound.

    ‘sirens were screaming from all over the city’
    • ‘The drone of aircraft propellers and thump of helicopter rotors made way for screaming auto engines and squealing tyres.’
    • ‘They only stop kissing as their friend pulls them apart due to the police sirens screaming loudly a few streets away.’
    • ‘A steady stream of ambulances was coming out of the school drive, all with lights flashing and sirens screaming into the leaden sky.’
    • ‘Following a minor road accident, the tourist was rushed by paramedics, all sirens screaming, to a local hospital.’
    • ‘The sirens of an ambulance screamed on the way to the hospital, alerting everyone that a tragedy had occurred.’
    • ‘When the air raid sirens screamed, they left in their apartment building scrambled for the cellar.’
    • ‘The car followed, lights flashing and sirens screaming.’
    • ‘Traffic became grid-locked and sirens screamed as fire engines and ambulances tried to negotiate a way through the chaos.’
    • ‘The loud sirens screamed through the quiet night lighting up everything in its path.’
    • ‘Ambulance sirens screamed as if enraged at the sight of a Baghdad car bombing.’
    • ‘When Hannah opened her eyes, she found herself lying on a stretcher, with sirens screaming loudly in her ears.’
    • ‘I had thought they were so cool wearing those yellow jackets and red hats, riding around on big red trucks with sirens screaming.’
    • ‘They won't then send an ambulance with sirens screaming and bells ringing and that sort of thing.’
    • ‘Thankfully, the EMS was located just around the corner, their approaching sirens screaming.’
    • ‘The sirens screamed even louder as the ambulance had arrived.’
    • ‘To my surprise the ambulance siren screamed to life and the vehicle departed heading east to the highway.’
    • ‘There are firetrucks and ambulances everywhere, sirens screaming.’
    • ‘Police cars start arriving at the docks with lights flashing and sirens screaming, as irate ferry workers haul a body out of the water.’
    • ‘As we were leaving the scene, we passed at least four fire trucks heading towards the park, sirens screaming.’
    • ‘A loud piercing alarm began screaming throughout the vast and dark room.’
    1. 2.1no object, with adverbial of direction Move very rapidly with or as if with a loud, high-pitched sound.
      ‘a shell screamed overhead’
      • ‘It was a bigger bike, a 125 Yamaha, and it screamed past me in a flash of white and blue two-stroke smoke.’
      • ‘Epsom grabbed the winner two minutes from time when a midfield ball dropped to Shoefield, whose shot screamed past Jones into the net.’
      • ‘There were no bells sounding, no fireworks screaming through the sky, and no audience to clap and cheer us on.’
      • ‘As the bullets went screaming past the bodies, four drones opened fire on them.’
      • ‘All the while, motorbikes were screaming past us between the two lanes of traffic.’
      • ‘Overhead, salvo after salvo of heavy shells screamed through the sky from Allied warships pounding German positions.’
      • ‘A hand yanked him backwards as a car went screaming past him, the driver angrily blaring his horn at him.’
      • ‘Mike hit the siren and they screamed around the corner.’
      • ‘Police vessels were still screaming past him, as well as lifters and medi-cars.’
      • ‘His ship was hit and destroyed as a Kratch ship screamed past the squadron.’
      • ‘Samuel crossed and Solano's audacious volley screamed just past the post.’
      • ‘Suddenly he heard the whining sound of the lead balls, like so many hornets screaming past his ears.’
      • ‘He launched himself into a spectacular overhead kick that screamed past Walker into the Walsall net.’
      • ‘He cut inside and his left-foot volley from just inside the box screamed past Niemi.’
      • ‘The ambulance screamed past lighting my face in alternate colours as I trudged up William Street.’
      • ‘The young Spaniard swung at it and sent the ball screaming past the helpless Gianluigi Buffon and into the left-hand side of the Juve goal.’
  • 3dated, informal Turn informer.

    ‘he never got paid and my information is he's ready to scream’

noun

  • 1A long, loud, piercing cry expressing extreme emotion or pain.

    ‘they were awakened by screams for help’
    • ‘Loud cheers and slight screams were heard all around me and I turned to Zach grinning.’
    • ‘The girl's terrified screams alerted a shopkeeper and his friend who managed to kick the animals away.’
    • ‘Late at night I heard screams, not of pain, but of sheer agony, coming from the floors below.’
    • ‘The shouting was getting louder by now, the sound of an occasional gunshot audible beneath high pitched screams.’
    • ‘The sound of their screams and cries echoed out over the river and several people disappeared under the water and never resurfaced.’
    • ‘Kirby tried to let out a loud scream but the sound never made it out of her mouth.’
    • ‘One of the puppies hopped on Pepe, and the baby let out a scream of either extreme delight or pain.’
    • ‘Frightened screams echoed some houses away, probably kids scaring themselves in some Halloween slumber party.’
    • ‘Every now and then, screams of delight added to the atmosphere of competition.’
    • ‘She winced every time she heard the loud screams of heart-break and pain that exploded from Mrs. Lane's mouth.’
    • ‘She lay there for a moment, until she heard a loud scream from behind her.’
    • ‘The men below came running up on deck at the sound of her scream.’
    • ‘He had been told to ‘mind his own business’ when he complained about the police brutality after having heard the screams of pain from his brother.’
    • ‘War cries became screams of pain under the deadly rain.’
    • ‘The only out of place sounds were the screams coming from the roller coaster just a lengths away from the hotel.’
    • ‘North Kent police said the three left empty handed after being scared off by the woman's screams for help.’
    • ‘She closed her eyes and let out her fear in a high-pitched scream.’
    • ‘The two were just at the edge of the forest when they heard a battle scream from behind them.’
    • ‘He blacked out for a few seconds, then came to, to the sound of his own screams.’
    • ‘As the door swung closed, they could hear screams of pain.’
    shriek, screech, yell, howl, shout, bellow, bawl, cry, yawp, yelp, squeal, wail, squawk, squall, caterwaul, whoop
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A high-pitched cry made by an animal.
      ‘the screams of the seagulls’
      • ‘Alain cupped his ears as the creature's high pitched scream shattered every window pane in the room.’
      • ‘He grabbed it around the neck and the animal let out a scream of fear.’
      • ‘A low rumbling and high-pitched scream of an animal came from somewhere out in the fog.’
  • 2A loud, piercing sound.

    ‘the scream of a falling bomb’
    • ‘Then the world was reduced to a maddening thrum frequently pierced by the high-pitched scream of generators.’
    • ‘From the hallway, the high-pitched screams of the heart monitor could be clearly heard and it resonated in Lucas' ears.’
    • ‘The bell resounded at its high-pitch scream and last-minute stragglers rushed in.’
    • ‘More than 700 alarms, which emit a high-pitched 130 decibel scream, have been sold in a four-day frenzy.’
    • ‘They weren't really alarms; they were more like high-pitched whistles or screams.’
  • 3informal in singular An irresistibly funny person, thing, or situation.

    ‘the movie's a scream’
    • ‘According to my sources, the movie, titled In The Closet, is a real scream.’
    • ‘Some of the perfunctory descriptions they offer of the movies they sell on DVD are a scream.’
    laugh
    wit, hoot, comedian, comic, entertainer, joker, clown, buffoon
    View synonyms

Origin

Middle English: origin uncertain; perhaps from Middle Dutch.

Pronunciation

scream

/skriːm/