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

When all of the pieces are working correctly, that crying should be minimized. Lindsey Benoit O’connell, Good Housekeeping, "I Hired a Baby Sleep Coach, But It Turns Out I Was The One Who Needed Training," 3 May 2019 Decision-making has ground to a standstill, even as business leaders and residents alike cry out for certainty. Jill Lawless, The Seattle Times, "Shame, sadness in UK as Brexit reveals Parliament’s flaws," 14 Apr. 2019 Blomkamp’s films enter the cinema wet, warm and crying to be shielded. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "Why 'Robocop' and Neill Blomkamp Need Each Other," 11 July 2018 Growing up Hispanic, people would say, ‘Guys don’t cry. Candice Frederick, Teen Vogue, ""On My Block" Star Jason Genao on the Responsibility of Portraying a Gun Violence Survivor and "Showing a Wider View of America" With Ruby," 3 Apr. 2019 What Team Chris Is Saying: Laughing, crying, drooling. Danielle Mcnally, Marie Claire, "Welcome to March Dadness," 22 Mar. 2019 As the Cure was formed in the punk era, Smith’s boys-do-cry softness is somewhat surprising. Vogue, "“Friday I’m in Love”—A Valentine to Robert Smith as the Cure Is Inducted Into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame," 29 Mar. 2019 After that, Toby spirals into a depressive state and, at one point, breaks down crying in the couple's kitchen. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Chris Sullivan Reveals How Toby’s Depression Took a Toll on Him," 19 Mar. 2019 Photo: mohammad ponir hossain/Reuters Rubina Yeasmi, a middle-aged woman in a black head scarf, sat crying outside the morgue, holding a photo of her son, Tanzil Ahmed Rohan, a college student. Jon Emont, WSJ, "Bangladesh Fire Points to Safety Shortfalls Despite Progress in Garment Industry," 22 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Unlike many celebrities, masters of feeds that serve as shrines to themselves, Hathaway is more likely to compose an inspirational message, a political rallying cry, or—gasp—a picture celebrating another star. Elizabeth Holmes, Town & Country, "Anne Hathaway Is Nobody's Punching Bag," 8 Jan. 2019 So coming up, the Democratic rallying cry for November involves the notion of fear. Fox News, "Haley on the New York Times, Kavanaugh and US foreign policy," 20 Sep. 2018 Its third season in particular received a rallying cry for its cancellation, at least from Refinery29. Rebecca Farley, refinery29.com, "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Series Finale Might Be A Movie," 4 May 2018 Thousands turned out for his funeral in New Orleans, and his name would become a national rallying cry, used to recruit other black warriors to the cause -- and blowing holes in the myth that black soldiers weren't suited for battle. Mike Scott, NOLA.com, "In 1863, this New Orleans man made history. It cost him his life," 12 Apr. 2018 The unified cry for help paved the way for Russian women to be granted voting rights soon after. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "Why International Women's Day Is Celebrated on March 8," 28 Feb. 2019 Most of the beating takes place off-camera from the perspective of Lenù, who absorbs Alfredo's cries for mercy and his wife's screams echoing through the church. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "My Brilliant Friend Producer Breaks Down the Violence of Episode 1," 19 Nov. 2018 Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said there was yelling in the background of the call, and at least one cry for help could be heard, according to NBC News. Kaylen Ralph, Teen Vogue, "13-Year-Old Jayme Closs Is Missing After Her Parents Were Found Dead in Their Home," 16 Oct. 2018 The storyline echoes the protest cries for Freddie Grey, Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland...the list continues. Alexis Jones, Marie Claire, "'The Hate U Give’ Is the Movie Version of Growing Up Black in America," 3 Oct. 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

13 May 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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