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From Middle English scremen, scræmen, probably from a fusion of Middle Dutch scremen (to yell; shout) and Old Norse skræma (to terrify; scare); compare Dutch schremen (to shout; yell; cry), Swedish skrämma (to spook; frighten), Danish skræmme (to scare), West Frisian skrieme (to weep). Compare also Swedish skräna (to yell; shout; howl), Dutch schreien (to cry; weep), German schreien (to scream). Related to shriek, skrike.



scream (plural screams)

  1. A loud, emphatic, exclamation of extreme emotion, especially horror, fear, excitement, or anger; it may comprise a word or a sustained, high-pitched vowel sound.
  2. (music) A form of singing associated with the metal and screamo styles of music. It is a loud, rough, distorted version of the voice; rather than the normal voice of the singer.
  3. (informal) Used as an intensifier
    We had a real scream of a time at the beach.
    • 1994 June 28, “Kingdom of the faithful: Serena Mackesy visits Jordan”, in Independent:
      Amman, though not exactly your world cultural centre, is a scream of a city; all the roads have different names from their official ones, so that maps are useless
  4. (printers' slang) exclamation mark



scream (third-person singular simple present screams, present participle screaming, simple past and past participle screamed or (nonstandard) screamt)

  1. To cry out with a shrill voice; to utter a sudden, sharp outcry, or shrill, loud cry, as in fright or extreme pain; to shriek; to screech.
  2. To move quickly; to race.
    He almost hit a pole, the way he came screaming down the hill.
  3. (informal) To be very indicative of; clearly having the characteristics of.
    Do you know what screams "I'm obnoxious"? People who feel the need to comment on every little thing they notice.