From Middle English scrycke, probably from Old Norse skrækja, itself probably of imitative origin. Cognate to Swedish skrika (skrik), German schreien (Schrei), both with the same meaning, and Albanian grykë (“throat”).
shriek (plural shrieks)
- A sharp, shrill outcry or scream; a shrill wild cry such as is caused by sudden or extreme terror, pain, or the like.
- Shrieks, clamours, murmurs, fill the frighted town.
- 1912: Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan of the Apes, Chapter 5
- Sabor, the lioness, was a wise hunter. To one less wise the wild alarm of her fierce cry as she sprang would have seemed a foolish thing, for could she not more surely have fallen upon her victims had she but quietly leaped without that loud shriek?
- (UK) (slang) An exclamation mark.
a sharp, shrill outcry or scream
- To utter a loud, sharp, shrill sound or cry, as do some birds and beasts; to scream, as in a sudden fright, in horror or anguish.
- It was the owl that shrieked.
- At this she shrieked aloud; the mournful train / Echoed her grief.
- To utter sharply and shrilly; to utter in or with a shriek or shrieks.
- The ghostly owl, shrieking his baleful note.
- She shrieked his name to the dark woods.
to utter a loud, sharp, shrill sound or cry