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
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Half of the people who see an eclipse for the first time will cry. David Pogue, CBS News, 7 Apr. 2024 His parents learn afterwards that this is the first day that Omer cried since he was taken. Bianna Golodryga, CNN, 7 Apr. 2024 The stress wasn’t over. Cold and blue, the baby didn’t immediately cry. Ishani Desai, Sacramento Bee, 5 Apr. 2024 Stop crying in your room with your curtains closed. Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, 4 Apr. 2024 Employees crowded the main entrance, cheering and crying, while tourists and locals watched the historic moment from behind a yellow gate. Rio Yamat, Quartz, 2 Apr. 2024 But Beyoncé, ready to become a true diva in the operatic sense, keeps insisting that crying together is the only way to achieve world peace. Rolling Stone, 2 Apr. 2024 Dia Settle, a mother, who was in a nearby playground told the Tennessean that eight gunshots rattled the neighborhood as kids were playing before restaurant patrons ran out into the street screaming and crying. Keith Sharon, USA TODAY, 1 Apr. 2024 Kaylor’s wife and his friends and family also broke down crying. Emma Epperly, Idaho Statesman, 25 Mar. 2024
Noun
Owners held onto hope for months that, like Horace’s deathbed cry, the Matchless would make millions again. Jenna Thompson, Kansas City Star, 5 Apr. 2024 Louder than all this is the protective cry from her fans, who stand at the ready to make fools of her doubters. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, 1 Apr. 2024 Friedel is at the center of the exterminating European Jews, and his family tries to ignore the sounds of screams, cries, gunshots, and atrocities taking place on the other side of the wall. Monica Mercuri, Forbes, 28 Mar. 2024 After two years of hours-long phone conversations filled with many laughs and cries, the pair started a podcast called MeSsy that premiered March 19. Katie Camero, USA TODAY, 27 Mar. 2024 The place buzzed with chirps and cries and calls and howls. Paul Brady, Travel + Leisure, 23 Mar. 2024 The European Producers Club, which represents top independent film and TV drama producers across continental Europe, has joined a rallying cry launched by Italy‘s indie producers over the imminent prospect that the Italian government will lower local investment obligations for streamers. Nick Vivarelli, Variety, 14 Mar. 2024 The sad and piercing voice of the funeral crier continued, reciting the phrases over and over, and very soon the cries of women and children filled the night air. Mohammed Naseehu Ali, The New Yorker, 25 Mar. 2024 Early reception suggests that audiences, especially those hankering for a good cry, may respond to the film’s inspirational themes. Rebecca Rubin, Variety, 14 Mar. 2024

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 15 Apr. 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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