cry

verb
\ ˈkrī How to pronounce cry (audio) \
cried; crying

Definition of cry

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to utter loudly : shout He cried "Wait!" but it was too late.
2 archaic : beg, beseech
3 : to proclaim publicly : advertise cry their wares

intransitive verb

1 : to call loudly : shout She cried out for help.
2 : to shed tears often noisily : weep, sob The child began to cry after she dropped her ice-cream cone.
3 : to utter a characteristic sound or call heard the seagulls crying
4 : to require or suggest strongly a remedy or disposition (see disposition sense 2b) … there are a hundred things which cry out for planning …— Roger Burlingame
cry havoc
: to sound an alarm
cry over spilled milk
: to express vain regrets for what cannot be recovered or undone You made a mistake, but there's no use crying over spilled milk.
cry wolf
: to give alarm unnecessarily News organizations have been warned not to cry wolf.

cry

noun
plural cries

Definition of cry (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : an instance of crying: such as
a : an inarticulate utterance of distress, rage, or pain
b obsolete : outcry, clamor
2a obsolete : proclamation
b cries plural, Scottish : banns
3 : entreaty, appeal a cry for help
4 : a loud shout
6a : common report
b : a general opinion
7 : the public voice raised in protest or approval
8 : a fit of weeping
9 : the characteristic sound or call of an animal
10a : a pack of hounds
b(1) : pursuit used in the phrase in full cry hounds in full cry
(2) : a peak of activity or excitement used in the phrase in full cry a campaign in full cry
variants: or cryo-

Definition of cry- (Entry 3 of 3)

: cold : freezing cryonics cryogen

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Synonyms for cry

Synonyms: Verb

bawl, blub [chiefly British], blubber, sob, weep

Synonyms: Noun

holler, hoot, howl, shout, whoop, yell, yowl

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Examples of cry in a Sentence

Verb

The baby is crying. Is she okay? Some people cry more easily than others. He cried silently while the song played. She cried all the way home from school that day. She couldn't imagine why anyone would cry over a stupid movie. She was crying with relief. They cried tears of joy. “Help,” he cried, “Get a doctor! Quick!” I heard someone cry “Wait!” but the train pulled away anyway. She'd never heard the sound of sea gulls crying by the shore.

Noun

The baby's cry woke me out of a deep sleep. There was a cry of “Fire” and we all rushed for the exits. The children were playing a game and their happy cries echoed through the house. the wild cry of a coyote
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

So instead of crying, Missy would end up back in Maurice’s room, telling him about her day. Jessica Contrera, Washington Post, "She and her twin were inseparable. Then a gunman tore the 15-year-olds apart.," 8 Sep. 2019 But instead of crying, or breaking down, Forbes immediately rushed to a swath of debris that used to be his front yard. Brooke Baitinger, sun-sentinel.com, "In Grand Bahama, a man finally comes home — to nothing," 7 Sep. 2019 The cub can be heard crying from inside the metal dumpster in the video tweeted out by the sheriff’s office. Dylan Bouscher, The Mercury News, "Watch: Tahoe-area sheriff’s officials free bears trapped in dumpsters," 5 Sep. 2019 Social media users weren't having the news of Popeyes being sold out and responded to the company with GIFs of crying faces and responses of disbelief. Amanda Jackson, CNN, "Popeyes chicken sandwich is officially sold out -- for now," 28 Aug. 2019 At one point, Mom starts crying about the daughter having entertaining space. Ali Barthwell, Curbed, "I watched a full day of HGTV," 14 Aug. 2019 Instead of crying about it, the disaffected mob wives get busy. Barbara Vandenburgh, Arizona Republic, Detroit Free Press, "You’ll be glad to get out of the overcooked 'Kitchen'," 8 Aug. 2019 Instead of crying about it, the disaffected mob wives get busy. Barbara Vandenburgh, azcentral, "Mob wives rule, but get these actresses out of 'The Kitchen'," 7 Aug. 2019 Images of crying children at the Mexican border typically serve as Exhibit A on the list of grievances that Democratic voters cite against the president. Stephanie Saul, New York Times, "In Wisconsin Swing District, a Range of Views on Immigration," 31 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

His extravagant collapse to the floor and cry in pain contributed to De Paul's departure, but the Udinese forward can blame no one but himself. SI.com, "Inter 1-0 Udinese: Report, Ratings & Reaction as I Nerazzurri Hold Out for Tense Win at San Siro," 14 Sep. 2019 Males are known to emit a songs of complex melodies, comprised of moans, cries and chirps, and their choruses can last for hours at a time. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Found: A Hub Where Humpback Whales Share Their Songs," 12 Sep. 2019 Gabriela Hearst The cries are growing louder for fashion to reduce its huge environmental impact, but so far criticism has mostly focused on supply chains, where most of fashion’s emissions, resource use, and pollution happen. Marc Bain, Quartzy, "Is carbon-neutrality fashion’s next runway trend?," 12 Sep. 2019 Where once parents were alerted to their baby's cries by a radio-like crackle, today's designs incorporate everything from video and motion sensors to temperature gauges. Lianne Kolirin, CNN, "A new Google baby monitor could use AI to alert parents before infant awakes," 10 Sep. 2019 Finally, after the five most agonizing minutes of my life, the sweetest sound carries through the room—my baby’s first cry. Nikki Kolb, Glamour, "A Traumatic Birth Forever Changed My First Moments of Motherhood," 4 Sep. 2019 Amid loud cries from protesters on the streets outside the House of Commons, the lawmakers turned to a key piece of legislation on their agenda that would prevent an immediate no-deal Brexit. Danica Kirka, Anchorage Daily News, "UK Parliament moves toward confrontation over Brexit," 3 Sep. 2019 Although coming alive while describing his life overseas and his New York adventures, when discussing Roth Adelman’s eyes turn sad, eventually coalescing into a cry undoubtedly catalyzed by Roth’s passing back in May 2018. Fortune, "Meet the Man Selling Hundreds of Signed Copies of Philip Roth Books on a New York Street Corner," 24 Aug. 2019 No wails or cries pierced the air in the church; mourners quietly sniffled and wiped away gentle tears in pews. Emma Keith, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit community mourns and remembers Emma Hernandez, 9, at funeral," 24 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cry.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cry

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cry

Verb

Middle English crien, from Anglo-French crier, from Latin quiritare to make a public outcry, perhaps from Quirit-, Quiris, Roman citizen

Noun

Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French cri, derivative of crier "to cry entry 1"

Combining form

Greek krýos (neuter s-stem) "icy cold, frost" (of uncertain origin) + -o-

Note: Greek krýos has long been associated with Latin crusta "hard surface layer, crust" and Greek krýstallos "ice, rock crystal," though these words most likely have different explanations (see crust, crystal entry 1). The best possibilities for comparison are perhaps Old Norse hrjósa "to shiver" and Tocharian B krośce "cold" (from Proto-Tocharian *kwroscē per Douglas Adams, A Dictionary of Tocharian B, 2nd edition [Rodopi, 2013], p. 236). Old High German roso, rosa "crust, layer of ice" may not belong here if the "ice" sense is secondary. On the basis of the related derivative krȳmós "icy cold, frost, chill," a comparison has been made with Avestan xrūma- "horrible," which, if reconstructed as *kruh2-mo-, may contain Indo-European *kruh2- "(dried) blood" (see raw entry 1), but the sense development "blood" > "horror" > "chill, cold" seems quite tenuous. The vowel length in krȳmós may be in any case of secondary origin. (For details see Robert Beekes, Etymological Dictionary of Greek [Leiden: Brill, 2010], p. 786.)

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Learn More about cry

Dictionary Entries near cry

Cruzan

cruzeiro

crwth

cry

cry-

crybaby

crybaby tree

Statistics for cry

Last Updated

14 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cry

The first known use of cry was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for cry

cry

verb

English Language Learners Definition of cry

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to produce tears from your eyes often while making loud sounds because of pain, sorrow, or other strong emotions
: to shout or say something loudly
of a bird or animal : to make the loud sound that is usual for a particular type of bird or animal

cry

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cry (Entry 2 of 2)

: a loud sound that someone makes to express pain, hunger, sadness, etc.
: something that is said loudly : a shout or call
: a loud sound made by an animal or bird

cry

verb
\ ˈkrī How to pronounce cry (audio) \
cried; crying

Kids Definition of cry

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to shed tears : weep
2 : to make a loud call : shout, exclaim “Wait!” she cried as the car drove away.
3 : to utter a special sound or call We could hear gulls crying through the fog.

cry

noun
plural cries

Kids Definition of cry (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a loud call or shout (as of pain, fear, or joy)
2 : appeal entry 1 sense 2 a cry for help
3 : an act or period of weeping When she left, I had a good cry.
4 : the special sound made by an animal a hawk's cry

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More from Merriam-Webster on cry

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cry

Spanish Central: Translation of cry

Nglish: Translation of cry for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cry for Arabic Speakers

Comments on cry

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