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Shout vs Yell vs Shriek vs Scream vs Screech vs Squeal vs Holler vs Whoop

Shoutyellshriekscreamscreechsquealhollerwhoop are comparable when they mean as verbs to make or utter a loud and penetrating sound that tends or is intended to attract attention and, as nouns, a sound or utterance of this character.

All, when used in reference to human utterance, can apply to either meaningful speech or inarticulate cries.

Shout ordinarily implies vocal utterance in an energetically raised voice intended to carry a considerable distance or to rise above conflicting sound; in itself and apart from context the term carries no information about the emotional or meaning content or the tonal quality of the sound.

In its extended use shout stresses attention-gaining quality.

Yell is used chiefly with reference to human utterance and implies not only loudness but sharpness and stridency of sound and usually either the uncontrolled expression of an emotion (as horror, fear, rage, or triumph) or an urgent attempt to attract attention.

In its extended use yell may apply to a sound suggesting a human yell or to an urgent appeal.

Shriek implies a piercingly shrill sound or tone and, as applied to human utterance, suggests a strong emotional background (as of fear, horror, or anguish or less often of some pleasant or neutral emotion).

In extended use shriek, like shout, stresses attention-gaining quality.

Scream in its basic use differs little from shriek and it may be similar in extended use, but more often its extension refers to something of which the action or occurrence is accompanied by or suggestive of physical screaming.

Screech implies a prolonged, typically inarticulate shriek that is conspicuously harsh or discordant or trying to the nerves. In extended uses it is closely comparable to such uses of scream .

Squeal implies a sharp shrill sound that is not necessarily especially loud and that, if of human origin, is ordinarily less emotion-charged than a shriek, scream, or screech. Often the term is used with specific reference to the natural cries of certain animals.

Holler ordinarily refers to human utterance that in tone and volume is equivalent to shout . Often it implies a purpose (as of warning or attracting attention) or an expression (as of surprise or distress or anger).

In extended use the term stresses vehemence (as in expostulating or criticizing or demanding).

Whoop, like holler, usually refers to human utterance equivalent in quality to shout, but ordinarily it implies eagerness, enthusiasm, or enjoyment as a cause. In its varied extended uses it is likely to suggest exuberant, often noisy vigor or vitality.