Definition of screech in English:

screech

verb

[no object]
  • 1(of a person or animal) give a loud, harsh, piercing cry.

    ‘she hit her brother, causing him to screech with pain’
    • ‘Above them an owl screeched loudly as it circled above.’
    • ‘In fact, it took me quite a while to bring myself to eat one and I recall screeching in disgust and saying ‘No, mum, it looks like slimy eyeballs!’’
    • ‘"Yuck, " she groaned, and her siblings screeched with laughter.’
    • ‘They will screech and shriek in ecstasy, as they fly from the brink of the cliff, down to the sea and rocks below.’
    • ‘And on top of it all Buck kept screeching desperately at the top of his lungs " Ray!’
    • ‘Animals added their noises to the din, poultry screeching and draft animals lowing as they were displayed and examined.’
    • ‘I cried out, my voice screeching in pain.’
    • ‘Whenever mom got really, really mad she started screeching like a parrot.’
    • ‘Somewhere in the thick of branches a sparrow screeched angrily.’
    • ‘Nicola screeched in disbelief, loud enough to penetrate Allie's earphones.’
    • ‘Darren and I were screeching with laughter throughout.’
    • ‘"Yes, there's something wrong, " I practically screeched.’
    • ‘Claire screeched and I saw, out of the corner of my eye, Andrew grab hold of her arm.’
    • ‘The girl was screeching and wailing at the same time as clawing and pinching Leanne.’
    • ‘Rounding the corner behind it raced Emily, flapping her arms and screeching at the top of her lungs.’
    • ‘He jumps two feet in the air, screeching at the top of his lungs, arms flailing.’
    • ‘A night bird screeched in the distance and the fire crackled and spat, and shoes crushed tiny rocks on the ground.’
    • ‘The spot then segues to a woman screeching at her unseen family, because she can't find her keys.’
    • ‘A little four year old's voice screeched into the phone.’
    • ‘When they fly, they often screech, and when they feed, they chatter.’
    shriek, squeal, squawk, howl, shout, yell, bellow, bawl, cry out, call out, yawp, yelp, wail, squall, caterwaul, whoop
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    1. 1.1 Make a loud, harsh, squealing noise.
      ‘the car drove off at speed, its tyres screeching’
      • ‘The car swerved and bounced, brakes screeching as we rounded another curve.’
      • ‘I managed to slam on the brakes in the nick of time to avoid getting into an accident, tyres screeching and all.’
      • ‘On the way home I saw a car skidding down the road, tyres screeching against the concrete, hideously loud.’
      • ‘Slamming her high-heeled foot onto the break, the car screeched to a halt.’
      • ‘Brakes screeched and horn blared but Harry just sauntered over to me so nonchalantly.’
      • ‘After dinner, there followed a restless night in the four-berth sleeper listening to the train wheels squealing and screeching.’
      • ‘I could hear cars and lorries screeching to a halt.’
      • ‘Cars both ways screech to a halt as a solitary duck ambles slowly across the road.’
      • ‘I could almost hear the police sirens screeching in the distance.’
      • ‘Brakes screeched and rubber burned as the van slid to a stop.’
      • ‘The four legs of the desk screeched against the floor as he moved it slightly closer to where I was sitting.’
      • ‘An engine rumbled behind him then the sound of old tyres screeching against the tarmac.’
      • ‘I stopped the car right then and there on the busy street, the tires screeching to a halt.’
      • ‘There was a pause between them, the sirens screeching ever louder.’
      • ‘Johnny Ramone's guitar never screeched, but it sure did growl.’
      • ‘The tires screeched as the van made a sharp turn.’
      • ‘It was not helped that there was only one microphone for the interview and it screeched every time Webster moved it back and forth.’
      • ‘The van screeched to a stop, taking us all by surprise.’
      • ‘At least 20 armed militants raced to the hospital in four vehicles, witnesses said, screeching to a halt at the entrance.’
      grate, creak, grind, jar, rasp, scratch, drag, rub, squeak, screech, grit, set someone's teeth on edge
      grate, grating, creak, creaking, grind, grinding, jar, jarring, rasp, rasping, scratch, scratching, rub, rubbing, squeak, squeaking, screech, screeching
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    2. 1.2no object, with adverbial of direction Move rapidly with a loud, harsh, squealing noise.
      ‘the van screeched round a bend at speed’
      • ‘Ray and Rita have already climbed into their van and screeched away which makes any immediate peace negotiations impossible.’
      • ‘Tom was probably going to say something else, but at that moment there was a loud bang and the bus went screeching to the right.’
      • ‘Suddenly, like a scene from an action movie, a Humberside Police van screeches up the kerb and four men in full riot gear and helmets leap on to the pavement.’
      • ‘We were screeching through space, and I saw billions of blazing stars.’
      • ‘He screeches around a corner, twisting the wheel like a madman.’
      • ‘Dimitri hopped off the spluttering bus and watched it drive, or rather screech away.’
      • ‘The bus screeched off as an announcement came onto the speakers.’
      • ‘She swore violently as a black SUV screeched around the corner, spraying her with muddy street water.’
      • ‘He got into his black Ford and drove away, letting the tires screech out of the parking lot.’
      • ‘Jake's car came screeching around the corner and stopped in front of the Peter's house.’
      • ‘She tossed the suitcase into her car and then screeched out of the driveway.’
      • ‘The car sped up the hill, screeching past the bend and came to a skidding halt when Joshua saw an empty straight road ahead.’
      • ‘The car's rev counter hits six and a half thousand as we screech round the Fairfield Street intersection.’
      • ‘In no time, he was screeching out of the parking lot.’
      • ‘Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, a pickup truck came screeching around the corner of the parking lot.’
      • ‘Suddenly they were moving, revving up, screeching out into the approaching rush-hour traffic of central London.’
      • ‘Ahead of him, a car parked by the kerb suddenly screeched off.’
      • ‘Sometimes speeds reach 100 miles per hour as the convoy screeches around corners and over central reservations.’
      • ‘The city in which you're driving is huge, and filled with people who quite sensibly run screaming when you screech around the corner.’
      • ‘Suddenly the black car came screeching around the corner and stopped right next to Amy.’

noun

  • 1A loud, harsh, piercing cry.

    ‘Mary tried to drown her screeches by shaking her’
    • ‘She let out a loud screech, and he laughed again and pulled her back up.’
    • ‘She greeted his solemn speeches with, according to a Victorian historian, " screeches of laughter".’
    • ‘There's the piercing screech of cats fighting and the clatter of bins somewhere in the blackness.’
    • ‘I can make extremely high-pitched sounds and screeches!’
    • ‘The piercing screech from the next room was so immediate and pained that it snapped me to instant alertness.’
    • ‘She heard the panicked squawks, and fierce screeches.’
    • ‘They both jumped when a piercing screech echoed off the rocks around them.’
    • ‘I heard someone scream, though to me it sounded more like a screech.’
    • ‘Her mouth opened wide and she let out a piercing screech.’
    • ‘We had to stop at the street light near her house and sit down, clutching at our sides in an attempt to stop the loud screeches of laughter emanating from our lungs.’
    • ‘The screech of crickets for ring tones is only one of the myriad innovations on cell phones.’
    • ‘Needless to say, Christy's high pitched screech gave them an immense amount of enjoyment.’
    • ‘Footsteps, heavy and burdened echoed as a high pitched screech melded into a frightened scream.’
    • ‘He yawned, and when he opened his mouth, he heard the distant sounds of surf booming against a beach, the faint screech of seagulls.’
    • ‘My own voice sounded like a whisper when I screamed for him to stop, lost in the crowd of jeering students and Steph's cacophony of screeches.’
    • ‘Our laughter soon turns to screeches of indignation.’
    • ‘The screech of a seagull echoed in her ears.’
    • ‘His screech of pain did not entirely drown out Taro's grunt of discomfort.’
    • ‘"Klay… " Flora started, but then a shrill screech sounded outside the cottage.’
    • ‘I try to quieten her screeches of laughter by shaking her, to no avail.’
    shriek, squeal, squawk, howl, shout, yell, bellow, bawl, cry, yawp, yelp, wail, squall, caterwaul, whoop
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A loud, harsh, squealing noise.
      ‘a screech of brakes’
      • ‘A piercing fax-like screech literally hurt my ears, then the requisite disconnect.’
      • ‘Most of you who have been to concerts will have heard the loud screech caused by that sort of feedback loop.’
      • ‘Bill grabbed a hold of the handle to the hum-vee and yanked it open, a resounding screech echoing out as the door ripped from the frame of the vehicle.’
      • ‘Seconds later she heard a screech and felt a bang at the rear of her car.’
      • ‘There was a squealing, a screech of metal scraping metal.’
      • ‘Minutes later the brakes let out a screech as the wheels of the bus came to a halt.’
      • ‘A hair-raising screech from the sound of metal scraping metal sent shivers through me.’
      • ‘Ian turned as he heard the dull thud and screech of brakes.’
      • ‘Even with the windows closed, you could still hear the screech, whiz and boom of the fireworks.’
      • ‘At that moment, from the other side of a wood, they heard the screech of brakes and an ear-shattering bang.’
      • ‘Glenn opened his mouth to respond, but quickly snapped it shut when the unmistakable sound of sirens echoed down the tunnels, the screech of brakes, someone yelling.’
      • ‘That is the piercing screech of steel on steel when the subway makes the sharp turn between King and Union.’
      • ‘With a howl and a screech and the smell of disintegrating technology a motor bearing on our wonderful eleven month old Hoover vacuum burnt itself out late yesterday.’
      • ‘I was probably no more than 100m away from my black motorbike when I heard a loud screech of tires.’
      • ‘All I heard was a loud screech of tires and a loud crash of thunder that echoed gloomily through my thoughtless mind.’
      • ‘My knife slips off the screw and with a grating screech marks the white surface of the machine.’
      • ‘The next sound was the screech of metal as an ‘unstoppable’ juggernaut ground to a halt.’
      • ‘A loud screech and a subtle jar rocked the airplane as the rear wheels met the pavement.’
      • ‘I didn't even hear the black Carola coming towards me until it hit the breaks with a loud screech.’
      • ‘The screech modulates into the sound of thousands of marbles clattering against each other at high speed.’

Origin

Mid 16th century: alteration of archaic scritch, of imitative origin.

Pronunciation

screech

/skriːtʃ/