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)
- A loud, emphatic, exclamation of extreme emotion, usually horror, fear, excitement et cetera. Can be the exclamation of a word, but is usually a sustained, high-pitched vowel sound, particularly /æ/ or /i/.
- (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.
- (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
- (printers' slang) exclamation mark
- 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.
- I heard the owl scream and the crickets cry.
- To move quickly; to race.
- He almost hit a pole, the way he came screaming down the hill.
- See also Wikisaurus:shout