What is the meaning of the expression scream with <something>? I find this expression when I look up the word scream at Oxford learner's dictionary. This is the example the dictionary gives: The kids were screaming with excitement. Do you have any ideas?

  • 1
    "Sth" is a dictionary abbreviation for "something", because it's possible, for example, to "scream with joy", "scream with horror", and to "scream with excitement". The "sth" (= "something") indicates there are various words which can be "screamed with". Another common dictionary abbreviation is "sb" for "somebody".
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Sep 15, 2014 at 10:55
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    The with here is a preposition linking the verb to an attendant emotion (excitement, fear, etc.).
    – Robusto
    Commented Sep 15, 2014 at 10:55
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    @DanBron You can’t fool me: I’ve seen Star Wars. I know what Sith Lords are, and they’re enough to make anybody scream.
    – tchrist
    Commented Sep 15, 2014 at 11:16
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    @tchrist: As are the Star Wars prequels themselves.
    – Robusto
    Commented Sep 15, 2014 at 11:26

1 Answer 1


If we look up the preposition "with" in a dictionary, we'll find that the "with" is used in different senses apart from its main use to say that two or more people or things are together. For example, it also means because of or in reaction to, regarding, using or by means of, having, etc. So when we say that the kids were screaming with excitement, it means that that they were making a loud and high cry because they were excited. One screams with a strong emotion such as anger, fear, pain or excitement. As for sth, it is the abbreviated use of something.

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