Etymology
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shriek (v.)

16c. variant of scrycke (c. 1200), from Old Norse skrækja "to screech" (see screech), probably of imitative origin. Related: Shrieked; shrieking. The noun is attested from 1580s, from the verb.

A shriek is sharper, more sudden, and, when due to fear or pain, indicative of more terror or distress than a scream. Screech emphasizes the disagreeableness of the sharpness or shrillness, and its lack of dignity in a person. It is more distinctly figurative to speak of the shriek of a locomotive than to speak of its scream or screech. [Century Dictionary]
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shrike (n.)
1540s, apparently from a survival of Old English scric "a shrike or thrush," literally "bird with a shrill call," probably echoic of its cry and related to shriek (compare Old Norse skrikja "shrieker, shrike," German schrik "moor hen," Swedish skrika "jay").
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screech (v.)

"cry out with a sharp, shrill voice," 1570s, an alteration of scritch (mid-13c., schrichen), perhaps a general Germanic word (compare Old Frisian skrichta, Muddle Dutch schrien), probably ultimately of imitative origin (compare shriek). Also compare screak, "utter a shrill, harsh cry," c. 1500, from Old Norse skrækja, also probably echoic. Related: Screeched; screeching.

Of wagon-wheels, door-hinges, etc., "make a shrill, grating sound," 1560s. Screech-owl is attested from 1590s (scritch-owl is from 1520s) in reference to the barn-owl; in the U.S. the term is applied to small horned owls. The name is given to owls that "screech" as distinguished from ones that hoot. The cry was regarded as ominous.

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scritch 

"shriek, screech," see screech. Related: Scritch-owl (1520s).

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descry (v.2)

mid-14c., "to proclaim, announce, make known," a word now obsolete, from Old French descrier, from des- (see dis-) + crier, from Latin quiritare "to wail, shriek" (see cry (v.)).

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bray (v.)
"utter a loud and harsh cry," c. 1300, from Old French braire "to cry," from Gallo-Roman *bragire "to cry out" (11c.), perhaps from a Celtic source (compare Gaelic braigh "to shriek, crackle"), probably imitative. Related: Brayed; braying.
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skirl (v.)
"to make a shrill sound," mid-15c., from a Scandinavian source (compare Norwegian skyrla, skrella "to shriek"), of imitative origin. In reference to bagpipes, it is attested by 1660s and now rarely used otherwise. As a noun 1510s from the verb.
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ululation (n.)

1590s, from Latin ululationem (nominative ululatio) "a howling or wailing," noun of action from past-participle stem of ululare "to howl, yell, shriek, wail, lament loudly," from a reduplicated imitative root (source also of Greek ololyzein "to cry aloud," Sanskrit ululih "a howling," Lithuanian uliuoti "to howl," Gaelic uileliugh "wail of lamentation," Old English ule "owl").

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heron (n.)

"long-necked, long-legged wading bird," c. 1300, from Old French hairon, eron (12c.), earlier hairo (11c., Modern French héron), from Frankish *haigiro or some other Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *hraigran. Related to Old High German heigaro, Danish hejre "heron," German Reiher, Dutch reiger, Old Norse hegri), perhaps from a common IE root imitative of its cry (compare Old Church Slavonic kriku "cry, scream," Lithuanian krykšti "to shriek," Welsh cregyra "heron," Latin graculus "jackdaw, crow"). Old English cognate hraga did not survive into Middle English. Egret is from the same source.

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tiger (n.)
Old English tigras (plural), also in part from Old French tigre "tiger" (mid-12c.), both from Latin tigris "tiger," from Greek tigris, possibly from an Iranian source akin to Old Persian tigra- "sharp, pointed," Avestan tighri- "arrow," in reference to its springing on its prey, "but no application of either word, or any derivative, to the tiger is known in Zend." [OED]. Of tiger-like persons from c. 1500. The meaning "shriek or howl at the end of a cheer" is recorded from 1845, American English, and is variously explained. Tiger's-eye "yellowish-brown quartz" is recorded from 1886.
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