What is the meaning of the expression
SCREECH TO A HALT?
stop very quickly
- Halt means to stop.
- Screech is a high-pitched sound.
Screech to a halt means to stop so quickly that there is a high-pitched sound from either the brakes or the wheels of the vehicle.
This expression can also be used to describe the sudden stop of a person who is running very quickly. It typically sounds humorous when it is used for a person running. The idea is that the person’s shoes (or feet) are their brakes which make a screeching noise on the floor because the speed of the person is so fast, and the stop is so sudden.
1. When the bicycle swerved in front of her car, she screeched to a halt.
2. He was chasing his cat down the sidewalk. A large dog appeared up ahead, and he screeched to a halt, turned around, and began to run the opposite direction.