WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
trill1 /trɪl/USA pronunciation   n. [countable]
  1. Music and Dancea rapid alternation between two nearby musical tones.
  2. a similar quavering sound, as that made by a bird or by a person laughing.

  • Music and Danceto sing, make, pronounce, or play with a trill: [+ object]to trill a few notes.[no object]birds trilling in the morning.

  • WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2015
    trill1 (tril), 
    1. to sing or play with a vibratory or quavering effect.
    2. [Phonet.]to produce (a sound) with a trill.
    3. (of birds, insects, etc.) to sing or utter in a succession of rapidly alternating sounds.

  • to resound vibrantly, or with a rapid succession of sounds, as the voice, song, or laughter.
  • to utter or make a sound or succession of sounds resembling such singing, as a bird, frog, grasshopper, or person laughing.
  • to execute a shake or trill with the voice or on a musical instrument.
  • [Phonet.]to execute a trill, esp. with the tongue, as while singing, talking, or whistling.

  • n. 
  • the act or sound of trilling.
  • [Music.]a rapid alternation of two adjacent tones;
    a shake.
  • a similar sound, or succession of sounds, uttered or made by a bird, an insect, a person laughing, etc.
  • [Phonet.]
    • a sequence of repetitive, rapid, vibratory movements produced in any free articulator or membrane by a rush of air expelled from the lungs and often causing a corresponding sequence of contacts between the vibrating articulator and another organ or surface.
    • a speech sound produced by such a trill.
    • Italian trillo quaver or warble in singing Gmc; compare Dutch trillen to vibrate, late Middle English trillen to shake or rock (something)
    • 1635–45

    trill2  (tril), 
    Archaic., v.i.
    1. to flow in a thin stream;

  • to cause to flow in a thin stream.
  • Etymology:
    • Old Danish trijlæ to roll (said, e.g., of tears and of a wheelbarrow); compare Norwegian trille, Swedish trilla. See trill1
    • Middle English trillen to make (something) turn, to roll, flow (said of tears, water) 1300–50

    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    trill /trɪl/ n
    1. a melodic ornament consisting of a rapid alternation between a principal note and the note a whole tone or semitone above it
    2. a shrill warbling sound, esp as made by some birds
    3. the production of a similar effect using the uvula against the back of the tongue
    1. to sound, sing, or play (a trill or with a trill)
    2. (transitive) to pronounce (an (r) sound) by the production of a trill
    Etymology: 17th Century: from Italian trillo, from trillare, apparently from Middle Dutch trillen to vibrate

    'trill' also found in these entries:

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