Definition of screed in English:



  • 1A long speech or piece of writing, typically one regarded as tedious.

    ‘her criticism appeared in the form of screeds in a local film magazine’
    • ‘The only writer I knew was the crabby old lady who wrote a weekly screed in the local newspaper.’
    • ‘It featured more pithy screeds than analytical articles, and even the longest essays rarely went on for more than three or four paragraphs.’
    • ‘Ideological screeds and rehashing of oral arguments aren't his style: careful analysis of applicable precedent is, and he did it again.’
    • ‘Reading that, I was actually glad I'd never posted the aforementioned drunken screed.’
    • ‘I have written a tedious screed on the event that is best ignored entirely.’
    • ‘It wasn't one of those thinly-documented screeds; it was written by college educators horrified by PC speech codes, assaults on campus newspapers, and academic freedom.’
    • ‘The play thus falters in its attempt to be a real and funny slice of life, scrambling to make colloquial its many screeds on life and love in the ‘burbs.’
    • ‘Corporations can't vote, because as I point out in the screed, they're not people.’
    • ‘There are other misimpressions created by your articles that necessitate a response, but I did not intend for this to become a screed against your writing.’
    • ‘And it's clear that her web site still features the screed quite prominently posted.’
    • ‘They have written vicious screeds against anti-globalization demonstrators and unionists.’
    • ‘A Boston Globe reporter posts numerous anti-Kerry screeds all over the blogisphere, and that's supposed to be all right?’
    • ‘In his spare time, he writes screeds of music journalism and analysis, as well as running his own music fanzine website.’
    • ‘Although I've been accused of trying to sway people with my screeds and polemics, that has never been the case, at least not consciously.’
    • ‘His writings varied from incoherent screeds to astute examinations of government hypocrisy.’
    • ‘I could have predicted that it would be another anti-government screed.’
    • ‘This is to counterbalance the screed below, you see.’
    • ‘Every single column written by him is a screed against the president; apparently, there isn't anything else worth writing about.’
    • ‘Substitute ‘terrorists’ for ‘Reds’ and their rhetoric reads as near-identical screeds against evil.’
    • ‘Every now and then, he writes these hysterical, factually insupportable, logically inconsistent screeds against some looming threat to civil liberties in the United States.’
  • 2[mass noun] A levelled layer of material (e.g. cement) applied to a floor or other surface.

    • ‘It is not the moisture in the slab or screed which is important, but the quantity of moisture leaving the slab and generating the vapour pressure.’
    • ‘During the installation we ran the screed off the slope laser and were able to pick up the cross-slope laser and use it for our pitch on the tennis courts.’
    • ‘While modest in its material composition - concrete, screed, plasterboard and glass - the building has been made with precision and consistency.’
    • ‘The lift was inoperable, the walls had been left with barely an undercoat on them and there was bare screed on the floors.’
    • ‘An unusual feature at Laban was the use of under-floor heating with water pipes buried in the screed.’
    1. 2.1[count noun]A strip of plaster or other material placed on a surface as a guide to thickness.
      • ‘We have seen truss screeds used to span 50-foot wide sections, but that is pushing things near their limit - unless flatness isn't an issue.’
      • ‘If you are building large slabs, could you survive without a laser screed or a power trowel?’
      • ‘The main way to spread out concrete is directly from the truck chute, keeping a uniform level in front of the straightedge or vibrating screed.’
      • ‘One unusual aspect of this job is that the mat slab was pitched to trench drains everywhere, so power screeds couldn't be used for the placement, except in small areas.’
      • ‘These screeds will guide the straightedge (called a rod) that is used to level the surface in Step 7.’


  • Level (a floor or layer of concrete) with a straight edge using a back and forth motion while moving across the surface.

    • ‘A profile pan located on the back edge of the grout box is equipped with a tamper bar that oscillates vertically to push aggregate below the profile pan as the concrete is screeded.’
    • ‘Once the floor is initially screeded, the first hand tool in the superflat process is the saw beam.’
    • ‘The bedding sand or screenings need to be screeded, so pull a 2x4 across the sand atop the 2 pipes, removing any excess.’
    • ‘The surface will start drying out in an hour or so, and that's when you should screed the surface again, giving it the final finish.’
    • ‘It is screeded with the same Bid-Well screed used for the placement of the structural concrete.’
    • ‘Then four-inches of gravel, followed by a layer of geotextile material, if desired, and a one-inch coarse sand setting bed screeded with a 2x4 should be laid.’
    • ‘They must be supported by a side rail or side form and they also require a hand - or motor-powered winch to pull them along the strip being screeded.’
    • ‘‘It's for screeding much wider spans of concrete than you would with a hand-held or vibrating machine simply because it's more rigid and heavier,’ he says.’
    • ‘After placement, the panels are screeded with a straightedge or vibrating screed in preparation for finishing.’


Middle English: probably a variant of the noun shred. The early sense was ‘fragment cut from a main piece’, then ‘torn strip’, whence (via the notion of a long roll or list) screed.