shriek / shrēk/ • v. [intr.] utter a high-pitched piercing sound or words, esp. as an expression of terror, pain, or excitement: the audience shrieked with laughter | [with direct speech] “There it is!” she shrieked | [tr.] she was shrieking abuse at a taxi driver. ∎ (of something inanimate) make a high-pitched screeching sound: the wheels shrieked as the car sped away. ∎ fig. be very obvious or strikingly discordant: the patterned carpets shrieked at Betsy from the shabby store.• n. a high-pitched piercing cry or sound; a scream: shrieks of laughter.DERIVATIVES: shriek·er n.