Definition of squawk in US English:



[no object]
  • 1(of a bird) make a loud, harsh noise.

    ‘the geese flew upriver, squawking’
    • ‘A few feet above him, a lone bird squawked in alarm and fluttered away-’
    • ‘The parrot squawked as I cautiously slid into the passenger-side seat.’
    • ‘Children were crying, dogs were barking, chickens were squawking, feathers were flying.’
    • ‘The chicken squawked, and the grammarian's last daughter opened her bag.’
    • ‘He led me to the trees where I could see that hundreds of large black birds squawked and clacked at each other, ruffling their feathers.’
    • ‘Well, by now we've found out the self-styled eagle could squawk better than he could fly.’
    • ‘Nicki the Amazon Green parrot squawks as we walk through the door.’
    • ‘But the noise of sailors swearing, pigs squealing, chickens squawking, children bawling and fathers threatening them with the backs of their hands brought them back to reality with a thump.’
    • ‘The bird squawked again, and dive-bombed the dog.’
    • ‘The birds occasionally squawk, but they do not move from their branches because they no longer can fly.’
    • ‘Brightly colored parrots are squawking in the palm trees.’
    • ‘Flocks of native water birds squawked as they flew over head and he could smell the fresh water and the rows of pine trees that circled the ridgeline.’
    • ‘As the bird squawked with delight, the fox stormed home!’
    • ‘Bob's bird squawked from the upstairs study, and the parrot responded with a series of high, piercing barks.’
    • ‘A few chickens squawked indignantly as the cold gust of air hit them, but they soon settled back down into their boxes, feathers ruffled to keep out the chill.’
    • ‘Fish leapt and eels wriggled in tanks of water, ducks and chickens squawked in their pens.’
    • ‘Mrs. Duck was squawking while swimming around.’
    • ‘A half-dead chicken squawked feebly as it was yanked from its perch.’
    • ‘The angry birds squawked and dove over the water a few times to try and recapture their victims, but Kathy and Sam had enough sense to stay underwater till the monsters left, still cawing and pecking at each other in a frustrated way.’
    • ‘Crickets chirped and birds squawked as they settled in for the night.’
    screech, squeal, shriek, scream, croak, crow, caw, cluck, clack, cackle, hoot, cry, call
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    1. 1.1with direct speech (of a person) say something in a loud, discordant tone.
      ‘“What are you doing?” she squawked’
      • ‘I was pointing frantically towards the meadow and trying to catch my partner's attention by squawking in a hushed tone, so as not to disturb this first major article of wildlife I'd spotted so far on our trip.’
      • ‘The girls are squawking in the living room as I type.’
      • ‘The supporters also stand in nodding rows at subway entrances, bowing and squawking their inane messages.’
      • ‘When her elder sister had squawked, roared and refused to conform, we knew she was ours in spades.’
      • ‘Iowa players squawked all off-season about a lack of respect after last year's success.’
      • ‘A surprising number of parochial Brit rappers have emerged in its wake, notably Dizzee Rascal, squawking his stories of knife-waving psychosis and urban blight.’
      • ‘The healer-hyarmi supposed there could be worse things named after him as he walked among the outermost wooden-shingled houses, squawking children scampering before him.’
      • ‘We were staring disaster in the face, squawked the purveyors of doom.’
      • ‘His latest ongoing play at the Centaur, Past Perfect, features, as usual, women squawking about their problems.’
      • ‘Weekly physical therapy with Heidi is going really well, meaning that you squawk less and less each week we put you through your exercises.’
      • ‘And he's squawking and crying and under pressure from the media and his ownership.’
      • ‘If she has any more kids, which she keeps threatening to do whenever she gets within squawking range of a microphone, the poor little thing will disappear altogether.’
      • ‘Made me forget about the 12 year old punks sitting behind me squawking the whole damn time.’
      • ‘However, they can squawk as much as they like, as long as they look as good as they do.’
      • ‘Pretty well, though she's squawking right now, so we'd better stop talking soon.’
      • ‘She is squawking over there on the sidelines, but at least she has made a contribution.’
      • ‘In front of them was a low table with a field telephone that squawked every few minutes as posts called in reports.’
      • ‘The man squawked as Roman grabbed him by his collar and hauled him to his feet.’
      • ‘He's currently squawking like a rooster choking on a peach pit about the urgency of dealing with a looming ‘crisis’ in Social Security, as though this issue suddenly has appeared on his radar.’
      • ‘I had to clear a two-foot area around her high chair so that she wouldn't knock the table over with her banging, and that's when the public squawking started.’
    2. 1.2 Complain or protest about something.
      • ‘And it does not matter how much National Party members squawk.’
      • ‘He can squawk and complain about losing his job to injury and take his act elsewhere.’
      • ‘But he quickly hurried back to the reservation of liberal orthodoxy when people squawked.’
      • ‘A few nobles squawked out in protest, and Sharin smiled a cold, dangerous little smile.’
      • ‘Fans squawked - and stopped coming to Jacobs Field.’
      • ‘Maybe someone should squawk about the availability of ethanol fuel.’
      • ‘Some celebrities squawk about this, but most of them concede, good-naturedly, that they are in the business of public image-making.’
      • ‘He was squawking away during question time like his underwear was too tight, but can he stay here and lead his party in a general debate?’
      • ‘So after the class, kids complained, parents squawked, community leaders thundered.’
      • ‘A terrible squealing and squawking has been set up by the ruling class and their experts as they pretend to be ‘shocked’ by the Chancellor's Budget.’
      • ‘Two elderly ladies were squawking like crows at his shoulders, complaining about the lack of organization and the horrible weather forecasting.’
      • ‘It seems Kirk never received his cut of the loot, which is one reason he's squawking.’
      • ‘As far back as 1900, pitchers squawked about umpires' calls and there were complaints about competitive imbalance among teams’
      • ‘Government employees will squawk, of course, as will residents of surrounding neighborhoods, so the next mayor will have to be ready to fight.’
      complain, protest, object, express disapproval, raise objections, make a stand, take a stand, put up a fight, kick, take exception, grouse, grouch, grumble, whine, wail, moan, carp, squeal
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  • 1A loud, harsh, or discordant noise made by a bird or a person.

    • ‘The humid air was thick with the squawks and cries of birds, the distant roar of howler monkeys, the electric buzzing of cicadas, and mysterious rustlings in the dense undergrowth.’
    • ‘The bird gave an angry squawk and took to the air, a whirlwind of color and feathers.’
    • ‘Rare or not, the bird's countless squawks were adding to my headache.’
    • ‘Her voice seemed loud and ugly in the room's mellow neon glow, like a crow's harsh squawk, and something somewhere winced in disgust.’
    • ‘She sat on the bed and watched Cassandra dance around the room, making some strange sound that was between a squawk and a bray of some sort.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, he didn't seem to be able to produce more than a loud squawk from the instrument.’
    • ‘Ace caught the tension in the room, and gave a loud squawk.’
    • ‘A rushing noise arose outside, growing louder and louder, punctuated by squawks and screeches.’
    • ‘Various yelps, hoots, screams, squawks, and other vocalizations are used by many species of primates and birds to herald the approach of predators to relatives and other members of the same species.’
    • ‘Once on the manicured lawns outside the white-walled residence, there was an air of tranquility, broken only by the mutterings of journalists and the squawks of kites flying overhead.’
    • ‘A loud squawk startled her, and she looked up to find the gull hanging over the drop-off and glaring at her in what looked like exasperation.’
    • ‘They could now hear the ocean crashing outside the walls, and sea bird's loud squawks barely audible past the thickness of water and rock.’
    • ‘Takumi opened his mouth to say something, but was cut off by loud squawks.’
    • ‘Each sudden burst of noise is followed by a series of nonsense squawks and yells from the band members.’
    • ‘Mr. Matheson pitched this just loud enough to elicit a squawk from Aunt Elsa.’
    • ‘I made some noise between a squeak and a squawk, and shot up.’
    • ‘As she was standing in disbelief, she heard a mind-shattering squawk and felt the bird's talons tear into her back.’
    • ‘Pressing his ear against the door, he could hear his guest making outraged noises which mostly consisted of squawks and shrill whistles.’
    • ‘I'm greeted by a loud, pulsating squawk, which makes me fear the operator has connected me to a tropical bird in its death throes. ‘Eeeek, eeeek, eeeek,’ it cries, before revealing it is Alvin himself.’
    • ‘A loud squawk was heard over in Zoe's direction.’
    screech, squeal, shriek, scream, croak, crow, caw, cluck, clack, cackle, hoot, cry, call
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    1. 1.1 A complaint or protest.
      ‘her plan provoked a loud squawk from her friends’
      • ‘At this, Ryan let out a protesting squawk, which brought forth a louder round of laughter from the others.’
      • ‘Despite the squawks of America's many conservatives, our society no longer troubles itself to suppress the facts about sex, or most other subjects.’
      • ‘Despite the squawks of the Conservative party, a programme about the history of heckling was transmitted on Monday on BBC3.’
      • ‘Despite some predictable squawks and squeals, it was clear from the beginning that the Wednesday back page was a hit with regular folk, and not only because of the witty captions.’
      • ‘If that stamp isn't on offer, they demand it in an increasingly loud and annoying squawk.’
      complaint, protest, objection, fuss, grouse, grouch, grumble, whine, wail, moan, carp, squeal
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Early 19th century: imitative.