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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.]

scream′ing·ly adv.
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

  1. Bellowed like a locomotive —Marge Piercy
  2. Bellowing like a wounded whale —William Diehl
  3. Bellow, like an animal in pain —Jean Rhys
  4. A broken shriek like a viola gone sour —T. Coraghessan Boyle
  5. Cried out hoarsely like a bird warning the forest that a predator is on the loose —Derek Lambert
  6. Cries … shrill, like a pig having his throat cut —W. Somerset Maugham
  7. Gave a short roar like a lion keeping in voice —Kingsley Amis
  8. Gave a shriek like an engine —Joyce Cary
  9. Gave a shrill scream like a wrung hen —Hugh Walpole
  10. He bellered like a bull calf —William A. Owens
  11. A high-pitched wail like a cat on fire —Peter Benchley
  12. His scream sliced the night like a hatchet —William Diehl
  13. Howled … like a savage beast being goaded to death with knives and spears —Emily Brontë
  14. Howling (through the streets) like an outcast dog —Erich Maria Remarque
  15. Howl like dogs —Dante Alighieri
  16. Howl like stabled wolves, or tigers at their prey —John Milton
  17. A loud yell which rang through the lonely fields like the howl of an evil spirit —Charles Dickens
  18. Screamed like a door creaking —Hugh Walpole
  19. (Laughed and) screamed like herring gulls —Joan Aiken
  20. Screamed like a horse in a fire —Gerald Kersh
  21. Screamed … like an eight-legged wildcat having a fit —Harold Adams
  22. Screamed like gulls on stormy water —Saul Bellow
  23. Screaming at the top of her lungs like a railroad whistle —Paige Mitchell
  24. Screaming filled the air like an icy mist —Bertold Brecht
  25. Screaming like a hawk making a long dive at a rabbit —W. P. Kinsella
  26. Screaming … like a saint sent to hell by mistake —Rosellen Brown
  27. Scream like a peacock in heat —Tennessee Williams
  28. 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.

  29. Scream like sandstorms in the desert, like the death of the universe —T. Coraghessan Boyle
  30. Scream … like the death rattle of a slaughtered animal —Ignazio Silone
  31. A scream of rage … like a blast from hell —Fred Mustard Stewart
  32. The scream rose like an aria —Larry McMurtry
  33. Screams as if ice water is rippling down her back —Ira Wood
  34. Screeched like a cage of mynas —Tony Ardizzone
  35. Screeched like a dying pullet —Frank Ross
  36. Screeched like a nighttime cat —Cynthia Ozick
  37. (The women) screeching like bony parrots —H. E. Bates
  38. Shout as demonstrative as a lizard —George Foy
  39. Shrieked like an old screen door —Carolyn Kizer
  40. Shrieking … like she was at a fireman’s picnic —John Dos Passos
  41. Shriek like a knife in the heart —T. Coraghessan Boyle
  42. A shriek like a needle-point —Elizabeth Bowen
  43. Shriek like infuriated switch engines —Irvin S. Cobb
  44. Shriek … louder than the loud ocean —Lord Byron
  45. Stormed and screamed like some shrill, wet hurricane about the house —Anita Desai
  46. Talked and shouted for hours on end like a preacher —Ignazio Silone
  47. Yelled … as if I were being roasted alive —Natascha Wodin
  48. Yelling and growling like savage but cowardly dogs —Lawrence Durrell
  49. Yelping (at captain of waiters) like a terrier who had cornered some small defenseless animal —Ross Macdonald
  50. Yowl like a tortured cat —Madison Smartt Bell
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
As she listened to the sobbing screams she did not wonder that people were so frightened that they gave him his own way in everything rather than hear them.
The people are poor and ignorant--that we see as surely as the peasant woman sees the baby is ill because it screams. But in what way this trouble of poverty and ignorance is to be cured by schools is as incomprehensible as how the hen-roost affects the screaming.
The noises grew indistinct, though I heard a final and despairing chorus of screams in the distance, and knew that the Martinez had gone down.
Crossing the hall, about half an hour afterwards, I was brought to a sudden standstill by an outbreak of screams from the small drawing-room.
The screams of the infuriated villagers came faintly to his sensitive ears, and he wheeled, as though in terror, contemplating flight; but something stayed him, and again he turned about, raised his trunk, and gave voice to a shrill cry.
Both sides were cursing and swearing in a frightful manner, which, together with the reports of the firearms and the screams and groans of the wounded, turned the deck of the Fuwalda to the likeness of a madhouse.
There is one habitable room in it, in which there is a golden bed; there you will have to live all by yourself, and don't forget that whatever you may see or hear in the night you must not scream out, for if you give as much as a single cry my sufferings will be doubled.'
'Is that the royal palace?' cried the bear; 'it is a wretched palace, and you are not King's children, you are disreputable children!' When the young wrens heard that, they were frightfully angry, and screamed:
Then suddenly a terrible shriek- it could not be hers, she could not scream like that- came from the bedroom.
"Oh!--Oh!--Oh!" Bert screamed, with every blow she struck "Hey, old flannel-mouth!
He would cry for nothing; he would burst into storms of devilish temper without notice, and let go scream after scream and squall after squall, then climax the thing with "holding his breath"-- that frightful specialty of the teething nursling, in the throes of which the creature exhausts its lungs, then is convulsed with noiseless squirmings and twistings and kickings in the effort to get its breath, while the lips turn blue and the mouth stands wide and rigid, offering for inspection one wee tooth set in the lower rim of a hoop of red gums; and when the appalling stillness has endured until one is sure the lost breath will never return, a nurse comes flying, and dashes water in the child's face, and--presto!
The Queen turned crimson with fury, and, after glaring at her for a moment like a wild beast, screamed `Off with her head!