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

Don't cry about the death of the two-year, $25 million deal for an aging outfielder. Barry Svrluga, courant.com, "As MLB gets younger - fast - its salary system only looks more broken," 12 July 2019 The recent raids in Mississippi that have left families traumatized and kids crying for their parents were also addressed in Pressley’s interview. Breanna Edwards, Essence, "Rep. Ayanna Pressley Talks Gun Control, Immigration On Daily Show," 14 Aug. 2019 Another person couldn’t even come up with words, and simply used a video of someone crying to sum up their feels. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Little Women First Trailer Stars Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan, Timothée Chalamet, and More," 13 Aug. 2019 Videos showed children crying in corners or in the arms of friends, neighbors and strangers. Richard Fausset, New York Times, "ICE Raids in Mississippi Leave Fear and Uncertainty in Their Wake," 8 Aug. 2019 The good news is that four days later, my lips were once again moisturized and no longer crying out for extra coats of balm. Kate Foster, Glamour, "I’m Completely Hooked on Lip Blushing," 7 Aug. 2019 Shootings in Texas and Ohio that left over 30 people dead this past weekend have left the country reeling and crying out for a solution. Alana Abramson, Time, "Why This Weekend's Tragedies Probably Still Won't Be Enough to Push Congress to Act on Gun Control," 5 Aug. 2019 When a parent responds to a baby’s coos or cries by picking them up or playing peak-a-boo with them for example, the back-and-forth helps build the baby’s brain architecture, which is later tied to children’s learning, behavior, and health outcomes. Annabelle Timsit, Quartz, "Smartphones are disrupting the crucial connections between parents and their babies," 31 July 2019 Angel Zuniga Martinez, director of scouting relations and communications, has seen many girls at family nights crying in the back of the room, being consoled by their parents, because they weren’t allowed to sign up. Krista Torralva, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio girls, aiming for Eagle Scout, break the gender barrier at camp," 30 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The attacks provided a fresh rallying cry for Congress to pass legislation to prevent gun violence. Tal Kopan, SFChronicle.com, "Trump skips Gilroy first responders in honoring mass-shooting heroes," 10 Sep. 2019 Lilly found that the squirrels became more vigilant after hearing the cry of the red-tail hawk—freezing, fleeing, or looking up. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Squirrels rely on the original twitter to know they are safe," 7 Sep. 2019 Relatives say Janilya’s uncle kicked in the door and broke some windows of the apartment when someone heard the little girl’s cries. Cincinnati.com, "'It was a mistake’ says mom of 3-year-old found in vacant, locked apartment," 3 July 2019 Border Patrol spokesman Ramiro Cordero said that in past years, agents would be posted near canals and hear the cries of help from migrants. Washington Post, "4 border deaths in Texas could be a preview of the summer," 24 June 2019 After it was first recorded in the 1960s, the haunting song of the humpback whale became an environmental rallying cry, a source of scientific curiosity and even a meditation soundtrack. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Listen to the First Known Song of the North Pacific Right Whale," 24 June 2019 One of two aides caring for the center’s 32 residents that day heard the cries and ran to the woman’s room. John Caniglia, cleveland.com, "Rape of 95-year-old with dementia raises questions about Ohio’s assisted-living regulations for staffing, training," 23 June 2019 According to the Daily News, Silverio heard cries after Yasleen and her mother became separated in dense smoke, which prompted him to turn back. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, "'Hero' teen dies after he tried to save 3-year-old girl from Bronx apartment fire," 13 June 2019 Border Patrol spokesman Ramiro Cordero said that in past years, agents would be posted near canals and hear the cries of help from migrants. Anchorage Daily News, "4 border deaths in Texas could be a preview of the summer," 13 June 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

2 Sep 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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