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v. screamed, scream·ing, screams
1. To utter a long loud piercing cry, as from pain or fear.
2. To make a loud piercing sound: Jet planes screamed through the air.
3. To speak or write in an excited or fearful manner.
4. To have or produce a startling effect: The outlandish costume screamed with clashing colors.
To utter or say in a screaming voice or in an excited or fearful manner: The fans screamed their displeasure.
1. A long, loud, piercing cry or sound.
2. Informal One that is hilariously or ridiculously funny: The new play was a scream.
[Middle English screamen, possibly of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse scræma.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
See Also: NOISE
- Bellowed like a locomotive —Marge Piercy
- Bellowing like a wounded whale —William Diehl
- Bellow, like an animal in pain —Jean Rhys
- A broken shriek like a viola gone sour —T. Coraghessan Boyle
- Cried out hoarsely like a bird warning the forest that a predator is on the loose —Derek Lambert
- Cries … shrill, like a pig having his throat cut —W. Somerset Maugham
- Gave a short roar like a lion keeping in voice —Kingsley Amis
- Gave a shriek like an engine —Joyce Cary
- Gave a shrill scream like a wrung hen —Hugh Walpole
- He bellered like a bull calf —William A. Owens
- A high-pitched wail like a cat on fire —Peter Benchley
- His scream sliced the night like a hatchet —William Diehl
- Howled … like a savage beast being goaded to death with knives and spears —Emily Brontë
- Howling (through the streets) like an outcast dog —Erich Maria Remarque
- Howl like dogs —Dante Alighieri
- Howl like stabled wolves, or tigers at their prey —John Milton
- A loud yell which rang through the lonely fields like the howl of an evil spirit —Charles Dickens
- Screamed like a door creaking —Hugh Walpole
- (Laughed and) screamed like herring gulls —Joan Aiken
- Screamed like a horse in a fire —Gerald Kersh
- Screamed … like an eight-legged wildcat having a fit —Harold Adams
- Screamed like gulls on stormy water —Saul Bellow
- Screaming at the top of her lungs like a railroad whistle —Paige Mitchell
- Screaming filled the air like an icy mist —Bertold Brecht
- Screaming like a hawk making a long dive at a rabbit —W. P. Kinsella
- Screaming … like a saint sent to hell by mistake —Rosellen Brown
- Scream like a peacock in heat —Tennessee Williams
- Scream like a village of raped virgins —Clive Cussler
In Cussler’s novel, Cyclops, the simile refers to protests in Washington about a space shuttle in Russian hands.
- Scream like sandstorms in the desert, like the death of the universe —T. Coraghessan Boyle
- Scream … like the death rattle of a slaughtered animal —Ignazio Silone
- A scream of rage … like a blast from hell —Fred Mustard Stewart
- The scream rose like an aria —Larry McMurtry
- Screams as if ice water is rippling down her back —Ira Wood
- Screeched like a cage of mynas —Tony Ardizzone
- Screeched like a dying pullet —Frank Ross
- Screeched like a nighttime cat —Cynthia Ozick
- (The women) screeching like bony parrots —H. E. Bates
- Shout as demonstrative as a lizard —George Foy
- Shrieked like an old screen door —Carolyn Kizer
- Shrieking … like she was at a fireman’s picnic —John Dos Passos
- Shriek like a knife in the heart —T. Coraghessan Boyle
- A shriek like a needle-point —Elizabeth Bowen
- Shriek like infuriated switch engines —Irvin S. Cobb
- Shriek … louder than the loud ocean —Lord Byron
- Stormed and screamed like some shrill, wet hurricane about the house —Anita Desai
- Talked and shouted for hours on end like a preacher —Ignazio Silone
- Yelled … as if I were being roasted alive —Natascha Wodin
- Yelling and growling like savage but cowardly dogs —Lawrence Durrell
- Yelping (at captain of waiters) like a terrier who had cornered some small defenseless animal —Ross Macdonald
- Yowl like a tortured cat —Madison Smartt Bell
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.