hue and cry


Definition of hue and cry

1a : 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

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."

Examples of hue and cry in a Sentence

There was a hue and cry in opposition to the film. the hue and cry in the classroom when someone let loose a snake
Recent Examples on the Web Suddenly, Republicans are raising a hue and cry about getting serious about mental health. Michael Tomasky, The New Republic, 31 May 2022 The public hue and cry to change Cleveland’s outfield apparently did not register with the front office. Paul Hoynes, cleveland, 2 Apr. 2022 Produced in November 2020, before the hue and cry over blockchain’s environmental impact hit the mainstream, the artwork uses the NFT format to present how carbon markets could be brought on-chain. Charlotte Kent, Wired, 17 Feb. 2022 After a hue and cry, online applications arrived, but still, only 4,000 visas were granted as of Monday, even as the continent hosts a legion of 2.8 million refugees and growing. Washington Post, 15 Mar. 2022 When Tom Cruise took on the role for what would be two films, a hue and cry was heard across Jack Reacher Land. John Anderson, WSJ, 15 Feb. 2022 Writings from the time also raise a hue and cry about the shockingly green sky in another Faculty Painting. Suhita Shirodkar, Wired, 24 Nov. 2021 An app like Workrooms isn’t going to quell that hue and cry. Peter Rubin, Wired, 19 Aug. 2021 The Astros’ competition raised a great hue and cry against this practice, especially the New York Yankees who played them during the 2019 playoffs. Don Yaeger, Forbes, 16 June 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of hue and cry

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for hue and cry

hue outcry

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The first known use of hue and cry was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Hue and cry.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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