hue and cry

noun
Updated on: 12 Dec 2017

Definition of hue and cry

1 a : a loud outcry formerly used in the pursuit of one who is suspected of a crime
b : the pursuit of a suspect or a written proclamation for the capture of a suspect
2 : a clamor of alarm or protest
3 : hubbub

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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

Recent Examples of hue and cry from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hue and cry.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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


HUE AND CRY Defined for English Language Learners

hue and cry

noun

Definition of hue and cry for English Language Learners

  • : an angry protest about something


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