From obsolete shrick (1567), shreke, variants of earier screak, skricke (bef. 1500), from Middle English scrycke, from a Skandinavian language (compare Swedish skrika, Icelandic skríkja), from Proto-Germanic *skrīkjanan (compare English screech). More at screech.
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.
- 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.