rallying cry

noun

plural rallying cries
1
: a shouted word, phrase, or sound used by a body of fighters before or in battle : battle cry, war cry
… the innocent ejaculation hurrah! became a fearsome rallying cry in Napoleonic times.Geoffrey Hughes
2
: something (such as a catchphrase, incident, or event) that is used to excite people to support a cause or to rouse people to action
Lions captain Sam Warburton issued a rallying cry to his team yesterday … by urging them to "reach for the stars".Mick Cleary
Ultimately, just 6 per cent of people would tell businesses to "keep doing what you're doing". If these findings do not act as a rallying cry for change, it is unclear what will.Frank Luntz
Both campaigns have seized on the attempt to ban that book in schools as a rallying cry.Edward Keenan
The much-despised gabelle, a tax first imposed on salt in France in the 13th century and at times soaring to 10 times the cost of producing salt in the first place, became a rallying cry for the French Revolution …Ligaya Mishan

Examples of rallying cry in a Sentence

the rallying cry of a political movement “We believe!” became the rallying cry of the fans.
Recent Examples on the Web Their presence will be felt this weekend as well, especially if LSU goes on a run that sparks the usual rallying cry. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, 28 Mar. 2024 What is your brand promise to your customers, and what is the one-line rallying cry for your brand that will drive your content team over the long run? Rolling Stone Culture Council, Rolling Stone, 29 Feb. 2024 Zelenskyy’s rallying cry came in the wake of fresh outrage among world leaders over the death of prominent Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny while in custody at a Siberian prison on Friday, and Ukraine’s withdrawal this week from Avdiivka, a key battleground on the front against Russia. Andrea Mitchell, NBC News, 17 Feb. 2024 DuVernay tackles varied and complicated forms of corruption here, but 13th is carefully plotted to show how each act of disenfranchisement leads to another, serving as a riveting rallying cry. Kevin Jacobsen and Diedre Johnson, EW.com, 20 Sep. 2023 Will the debates over a woman’s right to choose, diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, and U.S. foreign policy positions become rallying cries on college campuses? Brian Mitchell, Forbes, 14 Feb. 2024 Advertisement - Scroll to Continue —Emily Rosecrans, Clemson University, political science Let Voters Vote A common rallying cry among populist leaders is that elite establishment institutions use their powers to curb political movements. WSJ, 9 Jan. 2024 Amid this kind of escalation, analysts note, the desire to avoid war often runs headlong into the satisfying rallying cry for a hard-hitting military response. Anna Mulrine Grobe, The Christian Science Monitor, 29 Jan. 2024 Lincoln Riley tried to turn it into a rallying cry. Thuc Nhi Nguyen, Los Angeles Times, 19 Nov. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rallying cry.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1797, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of rallying cry was in 1797

Dictionary Entries Near rallying cry

Cite this Entry

“Rallying cry.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rallying%20cry. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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