What does shrill mean?

Definitions for shrill

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word shrill.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. shrill, sharpadjective

    having or emitting a high-pitched and sharp tone or tones

    "a shrill whistle"; "a shrill gaiety"

  2. strident, shrilladjective

    being sharply insistent on being heard

    "strident demands"; "shrill criticism"

  3. shrillverb

    of colors that are bright and gaudy

    "a shrill turquoise"

  4. shriek, shrill, pipe up, pipeverb

    utter a shrill cry


  1. shrillverb

    To make a shrill noise.

  2. shrilladjective

    High-pitched and piercing.

    She spoke in a shrill voice.

  3. shrilladjective

    Sharp or keen to the senses.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary


    Sounding with a piercing, tremulous, or vibratory sound.

    Etymology: A word supposed to be made per onomatopœiam, in imitation of the thing expressed, which indeed it images very happily.

    Thy hounds shall make the welkin answer them,
    And fetch shrill echoes from the hollow earth. William Shakespeare.

    I have heard
    The cock that is the trumpet to the morn,
    Doth with his lofty and shrill sounding throat
    Awake the god of day. William Shakespeare, Hamlet.

    Have I fall’n,
    From the dread summit of this chalky bourn!
    Look up a height, the shrill gorg’d lark so far
    Cannot be seen or heard. William Shakespeare, K. Lear.

    Upsprings the lark,
    Shrill voic’d and loud, the messenger of morn. James Thomson.

  2. To Shrillverb

    To pierce the ear with sharp and quick vibrations of sound.

    Etymology: from the adjective.

    The sun of all the world is dim and dark;
    O heavy herse,
    Break we our pipes that shrill’d as loud as lark,
    O careful verse. Edmund Spenser.

    Hark how the minstrels ’gin to shrill aloud
    Their merry musick that resounds from far,
    The pipe, the tabor, and the trembling crowd
    That well agree withouten breach or jar. Edmund Spenser.

    A shrilling trumpet sounded from on high,
    And unto battle bade themselves address. William Shakespeare.

    Here, no clarion’s shrilling note
    The muse’s green retreat can pierce;
    The grove, from noisy camps remote,
    Is only vocal with my verse. Elijah Fenton, Ode to Lord Gower.

    The females round,
    Maids, wives, and matrons mix a shrilling sound. Alexander Pope.


  1. shrill

    Shrillness is a word used to describe the quality of sounds that have a high-pitched, strident, raucous, screeching or harsh character, such as those produced by a trumpet or piccolo, but it can also be used to describe a widely recognised and puzzling phenomenon whereby certain sounds are perceived as psychologically painful or aversive to a degree that cannot be accounted for simply in terms of frequency content or loudness. Such sounds include the sound of fingernails scraping a chalkboard, the sound of chalk on a blackboard, the sound of glass being scratched, and possibly the sound of a baby crying. There have been attempts to explain the phenomenon, often in terms of frequency content, or evolutionary advantage, but so far no complete explanation or mechanism has been found.


  1. shrill

    Shrill refers to a sound that is high-pitched and piercing, often described as sharp or harsh to the ears. It can also refer to colors, lights or statements that are strikingly bright or intense.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Shrillverb

    acute; sharp; piercing; having or emitting a sharp, piercing tone or sound; -- said of a sound, or of that which produces a sound

  2. Shrillnoun

    a shrill sound

  3. Shrillverb

    to utter an acute, piercing sound; to sound with a sharp, shrill tone; to become shrill

  4. Shrillverb

    to utter or express in a shrill tone; to cause to make a shrill sound

  5. Etymology: [OE. shril, schril; akin to LG. schrell, G. schrill. See Shrill,v. i.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Shrill

    shril, adj. piercing: sharp: uttering an acute sound.—adjs. Shrill′-gorged (Shak.), shrill-throated; Shrill′ing (Spens.), sounding shrill.—n. Shrill′ness.—adjs. Shrill′-tongued, Shrill′-voiced (Shak.), having a shrill voice; Shrill′y, somewhat shrill.—adv. Shrill′y. [Skeat explains M. E. shril (Scotch skirl) as from Scand., Norw. skryla, skräla, to cry shrilly; cf. Low Ger. schrell.]

How to pronounce shrill?

How to say shrill in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of shrill in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of shrill in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of shrill in a Sentence

  1. One Senate Republican aide:

    Rob Boatright added. One Senate Republican aide said Democrats should follow recent precedent, not the shrill calls of partisan opposition groups. When President Obama took office, The Senate confirmed seven of his nominees President Obama first day in office, and nearly all of them within two weeks.

  2. Michael Clark:

    Once the ‘crisis’ of the moment passes and the news media does not need a shrill voice to criticize the FBI, our client, the United States of America, with all of its issues, remains the greatest nation on this planet.

  3. Donald Trump:

    Hillary, who's become very shrill -- you know the word shrill? she's become shrill.

  4. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier:

    What we shouldn't do now is to inflame the situation by loud saber-rattling and shrill war cries, whoever believes that symbolic tank parades on the alliance's eastern border will bring more security is mistaken.

  5. William Shakespeare:

    O, now, for ever Farewell the tranquil mind farewell content Farewell the plumed troop and the big wars That make ambition virtue O, farewell Farewell the neighing steed and the shrill trump, The spirit-stirring drum, the ear-piercing fife, The royal banner, and all quality, Pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war And, O you mortal engines, whose rude throats The immortal Jove's dread clamours counterfeit, Farewell Othello's occupation's gone

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Translations for shrill

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"shrill." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/shrill>.

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    the act of examining something closely (as for mistakes)
    A humility
    B contribution
    C scrutiny
    D apex

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