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verb (used with object), de·cried, de·cry·ing.
  1. to speak disparagingly of; denounce as faulty or worthless; express censure of: She decried the lack of support for the arts in this country.
  2. to condemn or depreciate by proclamation, as foreign or obsolete coins.

Origin of decry

1610–20; < French décrier, Old French descrier. See dis-1, cry
Related formsde·cri·er, nounun·de·cried, adjective
Can be confuseddecry descry

Synonyms for decry

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Synonym study

1. Decry, denigrate, deprecate, derogate all involve the expression of censure or disapproval. Decry means to express one's vigorous disapproval of or to denounce: to decry all forms of discrimination. Denigrate means to speak damagingly of, to criticize in derogative terms: denigrating his works as trifling and poorly executed. Deprecate implies the expression of earnest, thoughtful disapproval: to deprecate a plan because of possible environmental damage. Derogate means to speak in such a way as to decrease the status, high quality, or good reputation of someone or something, making the person or object seem of less value: Fear of change makes them derogate every proposal put forth. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for decry

Contemporary Examples of decry

Historical Examples of decry

  • How often, prythee, have you been in these playhouses which you are so ready to decry?'

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Not that we wish to decry England; on the contrary, we would like to return there.

  • To glorify labor and decry wealth is to multiply absurdities.


    William Graham Sumner

  • To decry is to cry down, in some noisy, public, or conspicuous manner.

    English Synonyms and Antonyms

    James Champlin Fernald

  • I do and will defend them: it is the fashion to decry them now.

British Dictionary definitions for decry


verb -cries, -crying or -cried (tr)
  1. to express open disapproval of; disparage
  2. to depreciate by proclamationto decry obsolete coinage
Derived Formsdecrial, noundecrier, noun

Word Origin for decry

C17: from Old French descrier, from des- dis - 1 + crier to cry
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

Word Origin and History for decry

1610s, from French decrier (14c.; Old French descrier "cry out, announce"), from de- "down, out" (see de-) + crier "to cry," from Latin quiritare (see cry (v.)). In English, the sense has been colored by the presumption that de- in this word means "down."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper