I. verb Etymology: Middle English; probably akin to Old English scrallettan to resound loudly — more at skirl Date: 13th century transitive verb scream intransitive verb to utter or emit an acute piercing sound II. adjective Date: 14th century 1. a. having or emitting a sharp high-pitched tone or sound ; piercing b. accompanied by sharp high-pitched sounds or cries <
shrill gaiety
2. having a sharp or vivid effect on the senses <
shrill light
3. strident, intemperate <
shrill anger
shrill criticism
shrill adverbshrillness nounshrilly adverb III. noun Date: 1589 a shrill sound <
the shrill of the ship's whistle

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Shrill — Shrill, a. [Compar. {Shriller}; superl. {Shrillest}.] [OE. shril, schril; akin to LG. schrell, G. schrill. See {Shrill},v. i.] Acute; sharp; piercing; having or emitting a sharp, piercing tone or sound; said of a sound, or of that which produces… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Shrill — Shrill, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Shrilled}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Shrilling}.] [OE. schrillen, akin to G. schrillen; cf. AS. scralletan to resound loudly, Icel. skr[ o]lta to jolt, Sw. skr[ a]lla to shrill, Norw. skryla, skr?la. Cf. {Skirl}.] To utter an… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Shrill — Shrill, v. t. To utter or express in a shrill tone; to cause to make a shrill sound. [1913 Webster] How poor Andromache shrills her dolors forth. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • shrill — [shril] adj. [ME shrille, akin to LowG schrell, Ger schrill: echoic, prob. akin to SHRIEK] 1. having or producing a high, thin, piercing tone; high pitched 2. characterized or accompanied by shrill sounds 3. unrestrained and irritatingly… …   English World dictionary

  • Shrill — Shrill, n. A shrill sound. [Obs.] Spenser. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • shrill — late 14c., schrylle high pitched, piercing (of the voice), probably related to O.E. scralletan to sound loudly, of imitative origin (Cf. Low Ger. schrell, Ger. schrill piercing, shrill ). The verb sense of to sound shrilly is recorded from c.1300 …   Etymology dictionary

  • shrill — shrill·ness; shrill; …   English syllables

  • shrill — ► ADJECTIVE 1) (of a voice or sound) high pitched and piercing. 2) derogatory (of a complaint or demand) loud and forceful. ► VERB ▪ make a shrill noise. DERIVATIVES shrillness noun shrilly adverb. ORIGIN …   English terms dictionary

  • shrill — [adj] high pitched, harsh in sound acute, argute, blaring, blatant, cacophonous, clanging, clangorous, deafening, discordant, ear piercing, earsplitting, high, metallic, noisy, penetrating, piercing, piping, raucous, screeching, sharp, strident,… …   New thesaurus

  • shrill — I UK [ʃrɪl] / US adjective Word forms shrill : adjective shrill comparative shriller superlative shrillest 1) a shrill noise or voice is very loud, high, and unpleasant a shrill cry/whistle 2) shrill words are repeated often and in a very firm… …   English dictionary

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