- shreek (obsolete)
From obsolete shrick (1567), shreke, variants of earier screak, skricke (bef. 1500), from Middle English scrycke, from a Scandinavian language (compare Swedish skrika, Icelandic skríkja), from Proto-Germanic *skrīkijaną, *skrik- (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.
- 1697, “The Seventh Book of the Æneis”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. […], London: […] Jacob Tonson, […], OCLC 403869432:
- 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?
- (Britain, slang) An exclamation mark.
- (intransitive) 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.
- c. 1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene ii]:
- It was the owl that shrieked.
- 1700, [John] Dryden, “Palamon and Arcite: Or, The Knight’s Tale. In Three Books.”, in Fables Ancient and Modern; […], London: Printed for Jacob Tonson, […], OCLC 228732415:
- At this she shriek'd aloud; the mournful train / Echoed her grief.
- 1886, Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, H.L. Brækstad, transl., Folk and Fairy Tales, page 286:
- "[O]h, yes! the loon does shriek dreadfully - particularly when there's fine rain[.]"
- (transitive) To utter sharply and shrilly; to utter in or with a shriek or shrieks.