hue and cry


Definition of hue and cry

  1. 1a :  a loud outcry formerly used in the pursuit of one who is suspected of a crimeb :  the pursuit of a suspect or a written proclamation for the capture of a suspect

  2. 2 :  a clamor of alarm or protest

  3. 3 :  hubbub

hue and cry was our Word of the Day on 04/17/2009. Hear the podcast!

Examples of hue and cry in a sentence

  1. There was a hue and cry in opposition to the film.

  2. the hue and cry in the classroom when someone let loose a snake

Did You Know?

Let's say it's the Middle Ages in England and a villainous highwayman has just made off with your purse of gold. What do you do? You can't call 911, or even the police, because in medieval England there was no organized police force (much less telephones). Instead, the job of fighting crime fell to ordinary citizens. If you were the victim of or a witness to a crime, you were expected to make a lot of noise - yelling something like "stop thief!" - and anyone who heard your "hue and cry" was legally bound to join in the pursuit of the criminal. Forms of the term "hue and cry" date from at least the 13th century and are first encountered in the Anglo-French legal documents of that period. Ultimately, it can be traced to the Old French words hue, meaning "outcry" or "noise," and cri, meaning "cry."

Origin and Etymology of hue and cry

hue outcry

First Known Use: 15th century

HUE AND CRY Defined for English Language Learners

hue and cry


Definition of hue and cry for English Language Learners

  • : an angry protest about something

Learn More about hue and cry

Seen and Heard

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feeling or affected by lethargy

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