verb (used without object)
- to utter or make a harsh, shrill cry or sound: The child screeched hysterically. The brakes screeched.
verb (used with object)
- to utter with a screech: She screeched her warning.
- a harsh, shrill cry or sound: an owl’s screech; the screech of brakes.
- a shrill, harsh, or high-pitched sound or cry
- to utter with or produce a screech
- (esp in Newfoundland) a dark rum
v.1570s, alteration of scritch (mid-13c., schrichen), possibly of imitative origin (cf. shriek). Related: Screeched; screeching. Screech-owl is attested from 1590s (scritch-owl is from 1520s). n.1550s, from screech (v.). Earlier scritch (1510s).