adj. shrill·er, shrill·est
1. High-pitched and piercing in tone or sound: the shrill wail of a siren.
2. Producing a sharp, high-pitched tone or sound: a shrill fife.
3. Sharp or keen to the senses; harshly vivid: shrill colors.
v. shrilled, shrill·ing, shrills
To utter in a shrill manner; scream.
To produce a shrill cry or sound.
[Middle English shrille.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.