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]

updated on February 28, 2022

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Definitions of shriek from WordNet
1
shriek (n.)
sharp piercing cry;
Synonyms: scream / screaming / shrieking / screech / screeching
shriek (n.)
a high-pitched noise resembling a human cry;
Synonyms: screech / screeching / shrieking / scream / screaming
2
shriek (v.)
utter a shrill cry;
Synonyms: shrill / pipe up / pipe
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.