cry

1 of 2

verb

cried; crying

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

2 of 2

noun

plural cries
1
: an instance of crying: such as
a
: an inarticulate utterance of distress, rage, or pain
b
obsolete : outcry, clamor
2
a
obsolete : proclamation
b
cries plural, Scotland : banns
3
: entreaty, appeal
a cry for help
4
: a loud shout
5
6
a
: 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
10
a
: 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
Phrases
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.

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
The 8-year-old chose to stay with her sibling, who was crying inside the vehicle, before reaching for her dad’s cellphone, which had been left behind when the car got taken. Jennifer Hassan, Washington Post, 7 Feb. 2024 Upon taking a bite of the chicken wing, a giddy Jeong starts to cry tears of joy. Sabrina Weiss, Peoplemag, 6 Feb. 2024 Those Windermere peaks look like a perfect place to cry. Hanna Lustig, Glamour, 6 Feb. 2024 Amid shouting and crying, police soon realized their mistake. Colleen Slevin The Associated Press, arkansasonline.com, 6 Feb. 2024 Ann Marks, a mom of three and founder of Full Feedings, explains that a crying baby goes against a parent's natural instinct to respond and want to help their child. Tiffany Leigh, Parents, 4 Feb. 2024 Moments later, though, Vanessa called back crying, hung up, then started calling over and over. Molly Langmuir, Rolling Stone, 2 Feb. 2024 If there is a psyop going on, it’s being run by those crying wolf. Justin Ling, WIRED, 1 Feb. 2024 As video evidence from the high school on the day of the shooting was shown in court Jennifer Crumbley was seen crying. Nadine El-Bawab, ABC News, 1 Feb. 2024
Noun
Iskander’s tearful outbursts and cries of anguish have punctuated the murder trial. Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times, 7 Feb. 2024 One tactic – sending a can of Bud Light to Dylan Mulvaney, a trans advocate and influencer – became a rallying cry across right-leaning media and put the brand in cultural crosshairs. Brian Steinberg, Variety, 6 Feb. 2024 For years, amid grumbling over the length of the Oscars ceremony, there have been cries to remove prizes for short films from the telecast. Jada Yuan, Washington Post, 3 Feb. 2024 Botulism is a disease of the neuromuscular junction that causes irritability, constipation, autonomic disturbances such as high blood pressure and fast heart rate, a weak cry, drooping eyelids, poor feeding, lethargy, weakness, and respiratory difficulties. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 24 Jan. 2024 But as others began commuting from their jobs in the city to homes in the county, the cry went up that Towson, Aberdeen, Westminster, and Eldersburg and Mount Airy were getting to be like Baltimore — or at least like Arbutus or Highlandtown. Dean Minnich, Baltimore Sun, 14 Jan. 2024 Best Smart Home Products at CES 2024: Security Cameras & Safety Tech BEST Baby monitor Maxi-Cosi See Pro 360 Baby Monitor Decoding baby’s cries just got easier with the help of this smart AI-powered camera. Rudie Obias, The Hollywood Reporter, 25 Jan. 2024 At the Sundance world premiere, sobs and cries could be heard from the audience as David and Benji grapple with their past and their pain. Stephen Rodrick, Variety, 20 Jan. 2024 This suggests that cries of fake polling can be self-fulfilling, insofar as those who distrust pollsters are less likely to participate in polls. Dan Rockmore, The New Yorker, 15 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cry.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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"

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near cry

Cite this Entry

“Cry.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cry. Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

cry

1 of 2 verb
cried; crying
1
: to call loudly : shout
2
: to shed tears often noisily : weep, bawl
3
: to utter a special sound or call
4
: to make known to the public
5
: to suggest strongly a need
the situation cries out for action

cry

2 of 2 noun
plural cries
1
: a loud call or shout (as of pain, fear, or joy)
2
: appeal entry 1 sense 2, plea
hear my cry
3
: a fit of weeping
had a good cry
4
: the special sound of an animal (as a bird)
5
6
a
: a pack of hounds
b
: pursuit
used in the phrase in full cry
hounds in full cry
c
: a peak of activity or excitement
used in the phrase in full cry
a campaign in full cry

More from Merriam-Webster on cry

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