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shrill / shril/ • adj. (of a voice or sound) high-pitched and piercing: a shrill laugh. ∎ derog. (esp. of a complaint or demand) loud and forceful: a concession to their shrill demands.• v. [intr.] make a shrill noise: a piercing whistle shrilled through the night air. ∎  speak or cry with a shrill voice: [with direct speech] “For God's sake!” shrilled Jan. • n. [in sing.] a shrill sound or cry: the rising shrill of women's voices.DERIVATIVES: shrill·ness n.shril·ly / ˈshri(l)lē/ adv.ORIGIN: late Middle English: of Germanic origin; related to Low German schrell ‘sharp in tone or taste.’