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

noun

  • 1A loud, harsh, piercing cry.

    ‘Mary tried to drown her screeches by shaking her’
    • ‘They both jumped when a piercing screech echoed off the rocks around them.’
    • ‘His screech of pain did not entirely drown out Taro's grunt of discomfort.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She let out a loud screech, and he laughed again and pulled her back up.’
    • ‘Footsteps, heavy and burdened echoed as a high pitched screech melded into a frightened scream.’
    • ‘I can make extremely high-pitched sounds and screeches!’
    • ‘She heard the panicked squawks, and fierce screeches.’
    • ‘"Klay… " Flora started, but then a shrill screech sounded outside the cottage.’
    • ‘Needless to say, Christy's high pitched screech gave them an immense amount of enjoyment.’
    • ‘There's the piercing screech of cats fighting and the clatter of bins somewhere in the blackness.’
    • ‘He yawned, and when he opened his mouth, he heard the distant sounds of surf booming against a beach, the faint screech of seagulls.’
    • ‘I heard someone scream, though to me it sounded more like a screech.’
    • ‘Her mouth opened wide and she let out a piercing screech.’
    • ‘The piercing screech from the next room was so immediate and pained that it snapped me to instant alertness.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I try to quieten her screeches of laughter by shaking her, to no avail.’
    • ‘The screech of a seagull echoed in her ears.’
    • ‘The screech of crickets for ring tones is only one of the myriad innovations on cell phones.’
    • ‘She greeted his solemn speeches with, according to a Victorian historian, " screeches of laughter".’
    • ‘Our laughter soon turns to screeches of indignation.’
    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’
      • ‘The screech modulates into the sound of thousands of marbles clattering against each other at high speed.’
      • ‘All I heard was a loud screech of tires and a loud crash of thunder that echoed gloomily through my thoughtless mind.’
      • ‘Most of you who have been to concerts will have heard the loud screech caused by that sort of feedback loop.’
      • ‘My knife slips off the screw and with a grating screech marks the white surface of the machine.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A hair-raising screech from the sound of metal scraping metal sent shivers through me.’
      • ‘I didn't even hear the black Carola coming towards me until it hit the breaks with a loud screech.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘At that moment, from the other side of a wood, they heard the screech of brakes and an ear-shattering bang.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Minutes later the brakes let out a screech as the wheels of the bus came to a halt.’
      • ‘Even with the windows closed, you could still hear the screech, whiz and boom of the fireworks.’
      • ‘I was probably no more than 100m away from my black motorbike when I heard a loud screech of tires.’
      • ‘That is the piercing screech of steel on steel when the subway makes the sharp turn between King and Union.’
      • ‘A piercing fax-like screech literally hurt my ears, then the requisite disconnect.’
      • ‘Seconds later she heard a screech and felt a bang at the rear of her car.’
      • ‘Ian turned as he heard the dull thud and screech of brakes.’
      • ‘There was a squealing, a screech of metal scraping metal.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

screech

/skriːtʃ/