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

Liu hopes to partner with industry to develop a baby cry recognition machine for new parents. Emily Matchar, Smithsonian, "A Translator for Baby Cries? Yes, Please.," 2 July 2019 The death of Ansari, who married less than two months ago and is seen crying and begging for mercy in the video, has sparked protests in cities across India. Rana Ayyub, Time, "What a Rising Tide of Violence Against Muslims in India Says About Modi's Second Term," 28 June 2019 And Democrats cried foul last month when Trump went on Twitter to rail against an obscure bipartisan casino bill that Schlapp had been lobbying against on behalf of a client. Bryan Lowry, kansascity, "Phone poll pits lobbyist with Trump ties against Kansas congressman for Senate race," 4 June 2019 In March, the reality star made waves on social media after posting a video on her Instagram Stories of herself crying. Morgan M. Evans, PEOPLE.com, "Whitney Port Says She 'Never Thought' She'd Return to The Hills Married — with a Son!," 19 June 2019 At one point, Shaver starts to cry, begging for his life, before Brailsford shoots him. AZCentral.com, "Police shootings in Arizona," 19 June 2019 Neighbors, a few of them crying, gathered at the home. Emily Palmer, New York Times, "Woman and Daughter, 10, Found Dead in the Bronx, Police Say," 15 June 2019 Water is filling up fast and the artist is crying for help while explaining the impact of global warming. Vivienne Chow, Quartzy, "Artists are using virtual reality to convey the perils of climate change," 15 June 2019 There was, however, a lot munching, sweating, crying and freaking out as the food turned nasty on Jimmy and Selena. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Selena Gomez and Jimmy Fallon Eat Super-Spicy Chicken Wings on 'Tonight Show': Watch," 12 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Her ritualized breathing and cries of anguish are almost synchronized with the score, an interplay that’s genuinely unsettling leading up to a dramatic finish. Anne Cohen, refinery29.com, "Midsommar Makes Haunting Horror Out Of Sunlight & Flower Crowns," 28 June 2019 These demands add to the swelling cries of tech workers across the country expressing concerns about how and where their work is used. Lydia Horne, WIRED, "Wayfair Walkout, Facebook Data Value, and More News," 26 June 2019 The calls, which researchers have been trying to capture and identify for years, are thought to be the cry of lone males trying to attract mates. Amy Woodyatt, CNN, "Song of rare whale 'crying for mate' recorded for the first time," 20 June 2019 The cries of hungry children fill the bazaar, where merchants in flowing robes and headscarves hawk scarce, overpriced goods to desperate parents. Lorraine Ali, latimes.com, "From ‘Aladdin’ to Galaxy’s Edge, how Hollywood interprets Arab culture," 14 June 2019 Nowadays the cry would be taken as a deodorant advertisement, but in that distant past, serving underarm—while providing shrill warning at the same time—was a form of bad sportsmanship cleverly disguised to look like good sportsmanship. Jon Wertheim, SI.com, "50 Parting Thoughts From the 2019 French Open: Rafa, Barty and So Much More," 9 June 2019 The cries of socialism continued to fly, with accusations that the TVA had precluded all sorts of private developments that somehow had never materialized until the federal government started building at Muscle Shoals. Kevin Baker, Harper's magazine, "Where Our New World Begins," 10 May 2019 The usual cries came up—that the standards of judgment are incurably subjective, that if the law started making judgments of this kind, the government would have a license for censoring... Hadley Arkes, WSJ, "The Business That Dare Not Speak Its Name," 25 Apr. 2019 Sound familiar? ::cough:: This Is Us ::cough:: Just like Fogelman's hit NBC show, this movie is a total cry fest. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "‘This Is Us’ Creator Dan Fogelman's New Movie 'Life Itself' Will Leave You Speechless," 22 Aug. 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

cruzeiro

crwth

cry-

cry

crybaby

crybaby tree

cry back

Statistics for cry

Last Updated

8 Jul 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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