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EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English schrille, shrille, shirle, from an earlier schille, from Old English scill (sonorous sounding), with r by analogy to skrīke, skrīken, scrēmen, possibly to avoid confusion with non-Anglian forms of schelle (shell) where Old English scill (sonorous sounding) and scill (shell) existed.

Cognate with Icelandic skella (crash, bang, slam).

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

shrill (comparative shriller, superlative shrillest)

  1. High-pitched and piercing.
    The woods rang with shrill cries of the birds.
    • Shakespeare
      Hear the shrill whistle which doth order give / To sounds confused.
    • Byron
      Let winds be shrill, let waves roll high.
  2. Sharp or keen to the senses.
  3. Having a shrill voice.
    • 1872, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Charlotte's Inheritance (page 105)
      'Oh, don't she look white!' cried a shrill girl with a baby in her arms.

Coordinate termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

VerbEdit

shrill (third-person singular simple present shrills, present participle shrilling, simple past and past participle shrilled)

  1. To make a shrill noise.
    • 2017 November 10, Daniel Taylor, “Youthful England earn draw with Germany but Lingard rues late miss”, in The Guardian (London)[1]:
      Jesse Lingard, another substitute, was only eight yards out when Harry Maguire’s knock-down fell for him but it was a wild finish and Southgate still had his head in his hands when the final whistle shrilled.
    • Spenser
      Break we our pipes, that shrill'd loud as lark.
    • Goldsmith
      No sounds were heard but of the shrilling cock.
    • L. Wallace
      His voice shrilled with passion.

TranslationsEdit

NounEdit

shrill (plural shrills)

  1. A shrill sound.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Edmund Spenser to this entry?)
    • 2015, Cliff Schexnayder, Builders of the Hoosac Tunnel
      The shrill of the whistle from the locomotive “Charlestown” announced the arrival of the first train into Fitchburg on 5 March 1845 []