scream

/skreem/, v.i.
1. to utter a loud, sharp, piercing cry.
2. to emit a shrill, piercing sound: The sirens and whistles screamed.
3. to laugh immoderately or uncontrollably: The comedian had the audience screaming.
4. to shout or speak shrilly, esp. with harsh or exaggerated words: They screamed across the back fence.
5. to play or sing in a high, loud, harsh manner.
6. to be conspicuous or startling: That red dress really screams.
v.t.
7. to utter with or as if with a scream or screams.
8. to make by screaming: to scream oneself hoarse.
n.
9. a loud, sharp, piercing cry: Her scream frightened off the burglar.
10. a shrill, piercing sound: the scream of the tires as the car rounded the curve.
11. Informal. someone or something that is hilariously funny: The movie was a scream.
[1150-1200; 1905-10 for def. 11; ME screamen (v.), OE *scraeman; akin to ON skraumi chatterbox, braggart, skruma to jabber; sc- (for regular sh- as in ME shreame) from obs. scritch to SCREECH]
Syn. 1. SCREAM, SHRIEK, SCREECH apply to crying out in a loud, piercing way. To SCREAM is to utter a loud, piercing cry, esp. of pain, fear, anger, or excitement: to scream with terror. The word is used also for a little, barely audible cry given by one who is startled. SHRIEK usually refers to a sharper and briefer cry than SCREAM; when caused by fear or pain, it is often indicative of more terror or distress; SHRIEK is also used for shrill uncontrolled cries: to shriek with laughter. SCREECH emphasizes disagreeable shrillness and harshness, often with a connotation of lack of dignity: to screech approval at a rock concert. 9. outcry, shriek, screech, screak.

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Universalium. 2010.

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