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Idioms about cry

Origin of cry

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English verb crien, from Anglo-French, Old French crier, from unattested Vulgar Latin crītāre for Latin quirītāre “to cry out in protest, make a public cry”; associated by folk etymology with Quirītēs Quirites; noun from the verb

synonym study for cry

3. Cry, shout, bellow, roar refer to kinds of loud articulate or inarticulate sounds. Cry is the general word: to cry out. To shout is to raise the voice loudly in uttering words or other articulate sounds: He shouted to his companions. Bellow refers to the loud, deep cry of a bull, moose, etc., or, somewhat in deprecation, to human utterance that suggests such a sound: The speaker bellowed his answer. Roar refers to a deep, hoarse, rumbling or vibrant cry, often of tumultuous volume: The crowd roared approval.


coun·ter·cry, noun, plural coun·ter·cries.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is a basic definition fo cry?

Cry means to make sad noises along with tears, to yell loudly, or to make an animal’s noise. Cry has several other senses as a verb and a noun.

A person will cry when they are overcome with intense emotion, such as sadness, despair, or joy. Intense pain can also make a person start to cry. Crying can involve tears coming from the eyes or whimpering, sniffling, or other miserable noises or both. Children and babies usually cry more often than adults, but crying is a natural way of expressing an intense feeling.

  • Real-life examples: Babies frequently cry to tell their parents there is a problem. Young children cry when they want something or something has upset them. People often cry at funerals. Parents might cry due to happiness at the birth of a new baby.
  • Used in a sentence: He cried from joy when he saw that his daughter was safe.

This sense is also used as a noun to mean an act of crying.

  • Used in a sentence: I had a long cry yesterday. 

Cry can also mean to shout or yell really loudly. This sense of cry is sometimes followed by the word out.

  • Used in a sentence: I cried out to my sister to warn her of the oncoming car.

When animals cry, they are making a distinct noise. This sense of cry is used similarly to words like yelp, bark, screech, and howl.

  • Used in a sentence: I heard wolves cry in the woods. 

In this sense, cry is also used as a noun to mean a particular noise that an animal makes.

  • Used in a sentence: My dog gave a long, loud cry.

Where does cry come from?

The first records of cry come from around 1175. It ultimately comes from the Latin verb quirītāre, meaning “to call for help.”

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to cry?

  • crier (noun)
  • countercry (noun)

What are some synonyms for cry?

What are some words that share a root or word element with cry

What are some words that often get used in discussing cry?

How is cry used in real life?

Cry is a very common word that most often means to make noises while having tears come out of your eyes.



Try using cry!

True or False?

People only cry when they are sad.

How to use cry in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for cry

/ (kraɪ) /

verb cries, crying or cried
noun plural cries

Word Origin for cry

C13: from Old French crier, from Latin quirītāre to call for help
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012