de·​cry di-ˈkrī How to pronounce decry (audio)
decried; decrying

transitive verb

: to depreciate (something, such as a coin) officially or publicly
the king may at any time decry … any coin of the kingdomWilliam Blackstone
: to express strong disapproval of
decry the emphasis on sex
… has decried the medical marijuana ballot initiative as being rife with loopholes.Dan Sweeney
decrier noun

Did you know?

Decry has several synonyms in English, among them disparage and belittle. Decry connotes an open condemnation that makes it the best choice for cases in which criticism is not at all veiled. The forthrightness expressed by the word is an echo from its ancestry: decry was borrowed in the 17th century from the French décrier, meaning "to discredit, depreciate," and the crier in that word is also the source of our word cry, the oldest meaning of which is “to utter loudly; shout.”

Choose the Right Synonym for decry

decry, depreciate, disparage, belittle mean to express a low opinion of.

decry implies open condemnation with intent to discredit.

decried their defeatist attitude

depreciate implies a representing as being of less value than commonly believed.

critics depreciate his plays for being unabashedly sentimental

disparage implies depreciation by indirect means such as slighting or invidious comparison.

disparaged polo as a game for the rich

belittle usually suggests a contemptuous or envious attitude.

belittled the achievements of others

Examples of decry in a Sentence

In her article, she decries the pollution of the environment by manufacturers. Violence on television is generally decried as harmful to children.
Recent Examples on the Web Trump decried Biden’s vaccine mandates and pointed out more people died of covid under Biden’s watch. Dan Diamond, Washington Post, 28 June 2024 Europhiles decried it as a consequence of Brexit and further proof of the U.K.’s dwindling global reputation. Eleanor Pringle, Fortune Europe, 27 June 2024 For example, biomedical leaders, such as Nobel laureate Harold Varmus, who led NIH in the 1990s, have often decried NIH’s sprawling set of 27 institutes and centers, many focused on specific diseases., 26 June 2024 Anti-Hernández protesters gathered outside the Manhattan courthouse ahead of the sentencing with placards decrying the former head of state's crimes. CBS News, 26 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for decry 

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

Word History


borrowed from French décrier "to discredit, depreciate," going back to Middle French descrier (15th century), from des- de- + crier "to cry entry 1"

Note: A supposed 13th-century French usage of descrier in the sense "to announce (the depreciation or suppression of a currency)," mentioned without citation in the Französisches etymologisches Wörterbuch, has never been found and should probably be disregarded. See also note at descry entry 1.

First Known Use

1614, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of decry was in 1614


Dictionary Entries Near decry

Cite this Entry

“Decry.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


de·​cry di-ˈkrī How to pronounce decry (audio)
: to express disrespect and scorn for : belittle
decry a hero's deeds
: to find fault with : condemn
decried the waste of resources
decrier noun

More from Merriam-Webster on decry

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!