hue and cry


Early English Law. the pursuit of a felon or an offender with loud outcries or clamor to give an alarm.
any public clamor, protest, or alarm: a general hue and cry against the war.

Origin of hue and cry

1250–1300; Middle English, translation of Anglo-French hu et cri. See hue2, cry Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for hue and cry

uproar, outcry, brouhaha, hullabaloo, protest

Examples from the Web for hue and cry

Historical Examples of hue and cry

  • But for him, Mark, your name would have figured in the 'Hue-and-Cry.'

    The O'Donoghue

    Charles James Lever

  • But the landlord soon raised the hue-and-cry, 'A man has been killed!'

    The Life of Cicero

    Anthony Trollope

  • But the old gentleman was not the only person who raised the hue-and-cry.

  • A hue-and-cry was set up, and the country round was searched.

    Freaks of Fanaticism

    Sabine Baring-Gould

  • In an hour there will be the hue-and-cry, and then they will surely search your house.


    S. R. Crockett

British Dictionary definitions for hue and cry

hue and cry


(formerly) the pursuit of a suspected criminal with loud cries in order to raise the alarm
any loud public outcry

Word Origin for hue and cry

C16: from Anglo-French hu et cri, from Old French hue outcry, from huer to shout, from hu! shout of warning + cri 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

hue and cry in Culture

hue and cry

Any loud clamor or protest intended to incite others to action: “In the 1980s, there was a great hue and cry for educational reform.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with hue and cry

hue and cry

A public clamor, as of protest or demand. For example, The reformers raised a hue and cry about political corruption. This redundant expression (hue and cry both mean “an outcry”), dating from the 1200s, originally meant “an outcry calling for the pursuit of a criminal.” By the mid-1500s it was also being used more broadly, as in the example.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.