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cry

Line breaks: cry
Pronunciation: /krʌɪ
 
/

Definition of cry in English:

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 joy
More 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 mummy
More 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.
Synonyms
2.1 [with direct speech] Say something loudly in an excited or anguished tone of voice: ‘Where will it end?’ he cried out
More 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.
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 water
More 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)

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1A loud inarticulate shout or scream expressing a powerful feeling or emotion: a cry of despair
More 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 cries
More 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 help
More 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.
Synonyms
appeal, plea, entreaty, urgent request, cry from the heart;
1.4A demand or opinion expressed by many people: peace became the popular cry
More 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 magpies
More 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 dead
More 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.
Synonyms
sob, weep, crying fit, fit of crying;

Origin

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'.

Phrases

cry one's eyes (or heart) out

1
Weep bitterly and at length: I cried my eyes out when he fired me
More 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

2
Ask for what is unattainable or impossible: there must be no more self-pity, no more time wasted on crying for the moon
More 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.

cry foul

3
Protest strongly about a real or imagined wrong or injustice: deprived of the crushing victory it was confidently expecting, the party cried foul
More 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

4
A passionate and honest appeal or protest.
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

5
British Disparage one’s own efforts or products: those in racing should go forward together and stop crying stinking fish
More 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.

cry wolf

6
see wolf.

for crying out loud

7
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

8
(Of hounds) baying in keen pursuit: the fox broke and the hounds followed in full cry
More 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.’
8.1Expressing an opinion loudly and forcefully: the prime minister was in full cry with warnings against the plots of the Americans
More 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

9
see milk.

Phrasal verbs

cry off

1
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 moment
More 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.
Synonyms
back out, pull out, cancel, withdraw, beg off, excuse oneself;
change one's mind, go back on one's word, break one's promise
informal get cold feet, cop out, wimp out
North American informal crap out

cry out for

2
Demand as a self-evident requirement or solution: the scheme cries out for reform
More 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.
Synonyms

cry someone/thing up (or down)

3
dated Praise (or disparage) someone or something: when one of them does something wrong, they cry down the lot
More 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.

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Pronunciation: ôrˈTHōəpē
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