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

Tonight Kesha started crying during her Praying performance and this amazing crowd kept encouraging her and singing the lyrics. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, "Kesha Breaks Down in Tears During 'Praying' After Fans Hold Up 'Thank You' Hearts in Cincinnati: Watch," 12 July 2018 She’s made so many kids cry over the years with that laugh. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Why 'The Wife' Star Glenn Close and Her Daughter, Annie Starke, Avoided Each Other on Set," 24 Feb. 2019 She was interviewed while crying over the phone call and repeatedly told the asylum officer she was confused about what she was being asked. Dara Lind, Vox, "Exclusive: new lawsuit claims Trump illegally denied asylum claims of separated parents," 20 Aug. 2018 Such a policy will likely be warmly embraced by the dairy industry, which has cried over spilt milk profits, waning sales, and global oversupply for years. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "“An almond doesn’t lactate:” FDA to crack down on use of the word “milk”," 18 July 2018 North Carolina Republicans are crying foul over a candidate who could change the balance of the state Supreme Court. Jim Morrill And Anne Blythe, charlotteobserver, "How this GOP candidate could help Democrats keep control of the NC Supreme Court," 4 July 2018 One father said he felt broken without his teenage son, while another cried over his daughter. Morgan Lee, BostonGlobe.com, "Immigrant parents await word about children’s fate," 26 June 2018 A few days later, he was spotted reportedly crying in a car with wife Hailey Baldwin. Alison Caporimo, Seventeen, "Selena Gomez Breaks Her Silence To Thank Fans on Instagram After Year Of "Challenges"," 14 Jan. 2019 According to the local ABC News affiliate, a 14-year-old girl from Houston, Erica (her mother asked the outlet not to reveal their full names), has been crying tears of blood intermittently for the past three years. Emma Sarran Webster, Teen Vogue, "A Texas Teenager Is Seeking Medical Help for Bloody Tears," 13 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

So these parents testify before Congress, tell their stories in school gymnasiums and cry on local television news. Claire Galofaro, The Seattle Times, "Moms of the dead from drugs: “Where is the outrage for us?”," 29 Jan. 2019 Witness statements provided to media have suggested that the officer involved in the shooting did not react to cries that Roberson was a security guard. P.r. Lockhart, Vox, "A black security guard caught a shooting suspect — only to be shot by police minutes later," 23 Jan. 2019 Over the cries of wailing children, the two women pull each other's hair and grab at the other's limbs until Melina flies down a flight of steps. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "My Brilliant Friend Producer Breaks Down the Violence of Episode 1," 19 Nov. 2018 The terrible, undulating war whoops of the attackers were soon joined by sharp shrieks of women pierced by arrows and the cries of men being killed with pangas. Nick Turse, Teen Vogue, "The Democratic Republic of Congo Has Humanitarian Crises Leaving Millions of Children In Danger," 14 Nov. 2018 Following the cries of 'disgraceful', the FA subsequently apologised. SI.com, "Tabloid Attention on Raheem Sterling Reaches New Lows as England Star Is Slated for Eating Breakfast," 24 Apr. 2018 Grandage spoke to the weight of opening this show in March, during Women's History Month, as the cries of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements have reached a deafening volume. Suzy Evans, The Hollywood Reporter, "Disney Previews 'Frozen,' Plans Digital Lottery on Broadway," 13 Feb. 2018 Apparently, before baby True broke through with her cry, someone else had a breakdown in the hospital room. Alison Caporimo, Seventeen, "Here's Khloé Kardashian and Tristan Thompson's FULL Relationship Timeline," 26 July 2018 Like many Sativa clients, Lewis believes her cries for clean water have gone unheard because the customer base largely consists of working-class black and Latino residents with little political sway. Ruben Vives, latimes.com, "Abolishing a water district isn't easy — even when it's accused of nepotism, mismanagement and delivering brown water," 7 July 2018

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

18 Mar 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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