AskDefine | Define screaming

Dictionary Definition

screaming adj
1 loud and sustained; shrill and piercing; "hordes of screaming fans"; "a screaming jet plane"; "a screaming fury of sound"; "a screeching parrot"; "screeching brakes"; "a horde of shrieking fans"; "shrieking winds" [syn: screaming(a), screeching(a), shrieking(a)]
2 so extremely intense as to evoke screams; "in screaming agony"; "a screaming rage" [syn: screaming(a)]
3 resembling a scream in effect; "screaming headlines"; "screaming colors and designs" [syn: screaming(a)]
4 marked by or causing boisterous merriment or convulsive laughter; "hilarious broad comedy"; "a screaming farce"; "uproarious stories" [syn: hilarious, screaming(a), uproarious]


1 sharp piercing cry; "her screaming attracted the neighbors" [syn: scream, shriek, shrieking, screech, screeching]
2 a high-pitched noise resembling a human cry; "he ducked at the screechings of shells"; "he heard the scream of the brakes" [syn: screech, screeching, shriek, shrieking, scream]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • Combination of scream and the present participle suffix: -ing



  1. loud, sharp, and piercing to the ear


  1. present participle of scream

Extensive Definition

A scream, shout, holler, or yell is a loud human audio vocalization where the person makes a loud cry by expelling air from their lungs.


These exclamations may be motivated by extreme emotion such as horror, excitement, or pain.


When human beings are taken over by extreme fear they may scream for various and sometimes intermingled reasons. These reasons include scaring away an attacker, calling attention to themselves for help. Screaming as a result of fear from a practical joke may be cause for embarrassment.


When people are overcome by joy such at an encounter with someone which they long to encounter such as their romantic interest or family member or friend who has been away they may exclaim with a scream their excitement for this occasion. People often scream out of joy when something happy has happened to them, like winning a prize. This is usually because of surprise or intense emotion.


When people suffer from injuries which are very painful such as broken bones or gun shot wounds, they often scream in pain or surprise. This may be a vocalization used to deal with the shock of the incident or perhaps an evolutionary adaptation used to warn others of danger.



Some people, when arguing begin to raise their voices to the point that they are screaming at each other in anger while continuing their debate exchange. Terminology includes "shouting match".


Drill instructors frequently use this tactic and its associated fear and intimidation to train recruits whilst fostering obedience and expedience.


The decibel levels of screams may be very high, and this has become an issue in the sport of tennis, particularly with regards to Maria Sharapova's loud tennis grunts which have been measured as high as 101.2 decibels. The human range for screaming in decibels is between 0 and 112.8 which is the world record held by Alan Myatt.The pitch varies depending on the justification for a scream.

Popular Culture

The Wilhelm scream is film's most familiar scream and has been edited into many movies since 1951.
screaming in French: Crier
screaming in Portuguese: Grito

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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