verb (cries, crying, cried)[no object]
- 1Shed tears in distress, pain, or sorrow: don’t cry—it’ll be all right [with object]: you’ll cry tears of joyMore example sentences
- Woman were crying with tears of joy as men swung their children around before giving them a smothering bear hug.
- Now as he sat in his chair thinking about his oldest daughter, he remembered that not even in the hospital did she cry - not one tear was shed.
- It was considered good to cry so tears were frequently shed in public by both men and women.
- 2Shout or scream in fear, pain, or grief: the little girl fell down and cried for mummyMore example sentences
- She cringed as the light moved closer and bit her lip to keep from crying out in fear.
- Abby went sprawling a few feet away, landing hard and crying out in pain and fear.
- Their mouths were gagged to prevent them from screaming or crying out, and the girl had tears down her face.
- 2.1 [with direct speech] Say something loudly in an excited or anguished tone of voice: ‘Where will it end?’ he cried outMore example sentences
- Feet could be heard pounding down the steps to his quarters and a voice cried out, ‘Maurice!’
- Suddenly a voice cried out to her in this manner: Get up quickly!
- And saying this he cried out with a great voice: Lazarus, come out here.
- 2.2 [with object] (Of a hawker) proclaim (wares) for sale in the street.More example sentences
- In the little trading towns, the traders sat in their shops, far too weary to cry their wares.
- Merchants were crying out their wares in the morning air, each straining to make their voices heard over the music and laughter.
- Store owners and merchants were crying out their wares or conducting business.
- 3(Of a bird or other animal) make a loud characteristic call: the wild birds cried out over the waterMore example sentences
- The bird cried out, thrashing its wings.
- The bird cried out and thunder echoed back from the sky.
- One day, a resident chimp cried out, signaling that snakes were present.
noun (plural cries)Back to top
- 1A loud inarticulate shout or scream expressing a powerful feeling or emotion: a cry of despairMore example sentences
- Shouts and cries and screams filled the room, creating a wave of noise that crashed down on James' ears, leaving him feeling numb and deaf.
- Back at the airport, there were screams and shrieks, cries and prayers as others witnessed the crash.
- Instead of using music, the scenes are accompanied by real sound: incomprehensible murmuring, shouts and cries.
- 1.1A loud excited utterance of a word or words: there was a cry of ‘Silence!’More example sentences
- Impassioned cries of: ‘We will shed blood to save the Datta Peetha’ were raised.
- It was like you see in the films - you hear the whistle and the bang, there's a cry of ‘incoming’ and everybody gets down on the ground.
- It's the hub of village life and when you go there at night, expect some of the elderly worse-for-wear locals to greet you with cries of ‘Hello, my brother’ when they discover you're Irish.
- 1.2The call of a hawker selling wares on the street: street criesMore example sentences
- In the weavers' cottage, weavers would be hard at work, and the streets thronged with people, where visitors would hear the cries of street traders selling their wares.
- Despite the lights and the trains and the noise, it is quite easy to imagine the cries of the hawkers in a different age.
- Visitors are battered by a cacophony of cries by hawkers trying to flog a variety of the ubiquitous plastic trinkets and squeaking toys.
- 1.3An urgent appeal or entreaty: fund-raisers have issued a cry for helpMore example sentences
- Newrbidge primary schools have issued an urgent cry for help as the schools crisis in the town deepens.
- The club who has issued a cry for help says it will disband within the next three weeks, unless immediate support from parents and supporters comes forward.
- Football-supporting MPs have issued a rallying cry for ‘all associated’ with the game to pull together and save York City.
- 1.4A demand or opinion expressed by many people: peace became the popular cryMore example sentences
- Soon, international opinion took up the cry and the authorities reacted quickly.
- The match also almost certainly ended the cry from fans demanding a return to Sunday action.
- The most frequent cry is to demand the whereabouts of the powerful foreign reporting that they remember from the 1960s.
- 2The loud characteristic call of a bird or other animal: the harsh cries of magpiesMore example sentences
- Imagining their hoots to be the cry of some dangerous animal, she had spent nearly two terrified days on the run from her rescuers.
- The cries of topical birds and animals could be heard very clearly in the night air.
- Whistles and cries came from the birds as they continued forward.
- 3A spell of shedding tears: I still have a cry, sometimes, when I realize that my mother is deadMore example sentences
- He took an awful long time coming back, because he had to keep stopping to have a cry!
- I have a cry while I slice the onions.
- I put my arms down on the computer desk, and leaned my head down on them to have a cry.
cry one's eyes (or heart) out
- Weep bitterly and at length: I cried my eyes out when he fired meMore example sentences
- I thrown myself into Chloe's bed, hugging her doll tight, crying my heart out with bitterness.
- You spend your days and nights crying your eyes out.
- The relatives of the victims were crying their eyes out too.
cry for the moon
- Ask for what is unattainable or impossible: there must be no more self-pity, no more time wasted on crying for the moonMore example sentences
- If she cried for the moon, he'd borrow every ladder in the parish and lash 'em together to get up.
- When my brother was a baby, he cried for the moon and would not be comforted.
- When the baby cries for the moon, you do not give him what he wants.
- Protest strongly about a real or imagined wrong or injustice: deprived of the crushing victory it was confidently expecting, the party cried foulMore example sentences
- But the opposition cried foul, accusing the government of manipulating the votes.
- Political parties have cried foul at the king's move, calling it an unconstitutional and undemocratic step.
- Protest and counter-protest occurred, with the Germans crying foul and furiously questioning the rules.
cry from the heart
- A passionate and honest appeal or protest.More example sentences
- It will be a cry from the heart as much as a plea to open the wallet.
- This is my cry from the heart on Australia Day, for right now, I am concerned that we are seeking to squash the hopes of people who need it most - desperate people heading for Australia, an island of hope.
- It's actually a cry from the heart for the Labor Party as a whole to gather its resources, its intelligence, its energy and it's passion.
cry stinking fish
- British Disparage one’s own efforts or products: those in racing should go forward together and stop crying stinking fishMore example sentences
- This is not a question of Labor crying stinking fish or being worried about the result or whatever.
- If the examples aren't forthcoming, then maybe his criticism is cheating, by crying stinking fish with nary a fishbone or cacase in sight.
- The companies involved are not going to cry stinking fish for sell.
- see wolf.
for crying out loud
- • informal Used to express one’s irritation or impatience: why do you have to take everything so personally, for crying out loud?More example sentences
- So for crying out loud, turn down the microphone level!
- I would say If you're going to write stories about your teachers at least make them unrecognizable, for crying out loud!
- How hard is it to rinse the plate and place it in the dishwasher for crying out loud?
in full cry
- (Of hounds) baying in keen pursuit: the fox broke and the hounds followed in full cryMore example sentences
- The women then set off like a pack of hounds in full cry after this cockerel.
- A stream of hounds flow in full cry across the field, the huntsman, Richard Emmott, on foot behind.
- She explained: ‘The pleasure I get from hunting is derived from seeing and hearing the pack in full cry, following the fox's scent.’
- Expressing an opinion loudly and forcefully: the prime minister was in full cry with warnings against the plots of the AmericansMore example sentences
- The mob will be in full cry for the early departure of the prime minister.
- Groups on the far Left, led by the radicals, were in full cry, demanding thorough investigation of the scandal and exposure of all the guilty men.
- The British press has been in full cry on a marginal issue.
it's no use crying over spilt milk
- see milk.
- British • informal Go back on a promise or fail to keep to an arrangement: we were going to Spain together and he cried off at the last momentMore example sentences
- But history shows that he cried off at half-time having pulled a stomach muscle.
- Wicklow also had their problems when David Moran failed a fitness test while Michael O'Brien also cried off through injury.
- It was only going to be a flying visit, but Jon and Trevor (and Paul, too, in the end, who had been on the verge of crying off on account of illness, so it's a good job I bought extra cakes) stayed for a couple of hours.
cry out for
- Demand as a self-evident requirement or solution: the scheme cries out for reformMore example sentences
- They cry out for solutions that, like the problems themselves, also cross frontiers.
- It's a deeply unsatisfactory system, and one which cries out for reform - though not in the direction desired by the free marketeers.
- This country is still crying out for an effective political system that responds to them and listens to the people.
cry someone/thing up (or down)
- • dated Praise (or disparage) someone or something: when one of them does something wrong, they cry down the lotMore example sentences
- In our day we meet with professors who cry down everything of the present, and cry up everything of the former days, which they call the good old times.
- The Tories cry him up as an excellent man, and a wonderful preacher.
Middle English (in the sense 'ask for earnestly or loudly'): from Old French crier (verb), cri (noun), from Latin quiritare 'raise a public outcry', literally 'call on the Quirites (Roman citizens) for help'.