The verb is from Middle English crien (13th century), from Old French crier (“to announce publicly, proclaim, scream, shout”) (whence Medieval Latin crīdāre 'id.'), from Vulgar Latin *crītāre. The noun is from Middle English crie, from Old French cri, crïee.
The origin of the Vulgar Latin word is disputed; if Germanic, it is from Frankish *krītan (“to cry, cry out, publish”), from Proto-Germanic *krītaną (“to cry out, shout”), from Proto-Indo-European *greyd- (“to shout”). Cognate with Saterland Frisian kriete (“to cry”), Dutch krijten (“to cry”) and krijsen (“to shriek”), German Low German krieten (“to cry, call out, shriek”), German kreißen (“to cry loudly, wail, groan”), Gothic 𐌺𐍂𐌴𐌹𐍄𐌰𐌽 (kreitan, “to cry, scream, call out”), further Indo-European cognates: Latin gingrītus (“the cackling of geese”), Middle Irish grith (“a cry”), Welsh gryd (“a scream”), Persian گریه (gerye, “to cry”), Sanskrit क्रन्दन (krandana, “cry, lamentation”).
Or, it may derive from Latin quirītāre (“to wail, shriek”). This is itself of uncertain origin, perhaps from Latin queror (“to complain”) through the form, though the phonetic and semantic developments are difficult to trace; alternatively, a variant of quirritare (“to squeal like a pig”), from *quis, an onomatopoeic rendition of squeaking. An ancient folk etymology understood it as "to call for the help of the Quirites," the Roman constabulary.
Middle English crien eventually displaced native Middle English galen (“to cry out”) (from Old English galan), Middle English greden (“to cry out”) (from Old English grǣdan), Middle English yermen (“to bellow, mourn, lament”) (from Old English ġierman), Middle English hooen, hoen (“to cry out”) (from Old Norse hóa), Middle English remen (“to cry, shout”) (from Old English hrīeman, compare Old English hrēam (“noise, outcry, lamentation, alarm”)), Middle English greten, graten (“to weep, cry, lament”) (from Old English grǣtan and Old Norse gráta). More at greet, regret.
Already in the 13th century, the meaning was extended to include the sense "to shed tears" (natively weep); cry used in this sense had mostly replaced weep by the 16th century.
- (intransitive) To shed tears; to weep.
- That sad movie always makes me cry.
- 2003, Sonic Team, Sonic Battle, Sega, published 2003, Game Boy Advance, level/area: Cream’s Story:
- - Emerl: “There’s nothing worse than making a girl cry!” That’s what Sonic said...
- (transitive) To utter loudly; to call out; to declare publicly.
- c. 1603–1604 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act V, scene ii]:
- All, all, cry shame against ye, yet I'll speak.
- 1678, John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress from This World, to That which is to Come: […], London: […] Nath[aniel] Ponder […], →OCLC; reprinted in The Pilgrim’s Progress (The Noel Douglas Replicas), London: Noel Douglas, […], 1928, →OCLC, page 3:
- [T]he Man put his fingers in his Ears, and ran on crying, Life, Life, Eternal Life: [...]
- (transitive, intransitive) To shout, scream, yell.
- (intransitive) To utter inarticulate sounds, as animals do.
- (transitive) To cause to do something, or bring to some state, by crying or weeping.
- Tonight I’ll cry myself to sleep.
- To make oral and public proclamation of; to notify or advertise by outcry, especially things lost or found, goods to be sold, auctioned, etc.
- to cry goods
- 1652, Richard Crashaw, The Beginning of Heliodorus:
- Love is lost, and thus she cries him.
- Hence, to publish the banns of, as for marriage.
- 1845, Sylvester Judd, Margaret: A Tale of the Real and the Ideal, Blight and Bloom; Including Sketches of a Place Not Before Described, Called Mons Christi:
- I should not be surprised if they were cried in church next Sabbath.
|present tense||past tense|
|1st-person singular||cry||cried, cryed†|
|2nd-person singular||cry, criest†, cryest†||cried, cryed†, criedst†, cryedst†|
|3rd-person singular||cries, crieth†, cryeth†||cried, cryed†|
- all over but the crying
- cry aim
- cry all the way to the bank
- cry blue murder
- cry buckets
- cry craven
- cry cupboard
- cry down
- cry foul
- cry from the housetop
- cry from the housetops
- cry from the rooftop
- cry from the rooftops
- cry halves
- cry havoc
- crying bird
- crying call
- crying game
- crying shame
- cry in one's beer
- cry in the wilderness
- cry into one's beer
- cry it out
- cry like a baby
- cry like a little girl
- cry off
- cry on
- cry one's eyes out
- cry out
- cry out for
- cry over spilt milk
- cry someone a river
- cry stinking fish
- cry the blues
- cry uncle
- cry up
- cry wolf
- don't cry over spilled milk
- don't cry over spilt milk
- for crying out loud
- kiss and cry
- make baby Jesus cry
- make the bald man cry
- shoulder to cry on
- there's no point crying over spilt milk
- there's no use crying over spilt milk
- ugly cry
- voice crying in the wilderness
cry (plural cries)
- A shedding of tears; the act of crying.
- After we broke up, I retreated to my room for a good cry.
- A shout or scream.
- I heard a cry from afar.
- Words shouted or screamed.
- a battle cry
- A clamour or outcry.
- 1812, Alexander Chalmers, The General Biographical Dictionary:
- His pupil, Maimonides, that he might not be under the necessity of violating the laws of friendship and gratitude, by joining the general cry against Averroes, left Corduba.
- (collectively) A group of hounds.
- c. 1595–1596 (date written), William Shakespeare, “A Midsommer Nights Dreame”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene i]:
- A cry more tunable / Was never hollaed to, nor cheered with horn.
- 1667, Milton, Paradise Lost, Book II, in Edward Hawkins, The Poetical Works of John Milton: With Notes of Various Authors, Vol. I, W. Baxter, J. Parker, G. B. Whittaker (publs., 1824) pages 124 to 126, lines 648 to 659.
- […] Before the gates there sat / On either side a formidable shape; / The one seem’d woman to the waste, and fair, / But ended foul in many a scaly fold / Voluminous and vast, a serpent arm’d / With mortal sting: about her middle round / A cry of hell-hounds never ceasing bark’d / With wide Cerberean mouths full loud and rung / A hideous peal; yet, when they list,would creep, / If ought disturb'd their noise, into her womb, / and kennel there, yet there still bark’d and howl’d, / Within unseen. […]
- (by extension, obsolete, derogatory) A pack or company of people.
- c. 1599–1602 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act III, scene ii]:
- Would not this […] get me a fellowship in a cry of players?
- (of an animal) A typical sound made by the species in question.
- "Woof" is the cry of a dog, while "neigh" is the cry of a horse.
- 1886, Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, translated by H.L. Brækstad, Folk and Fairy Tales, page 86:
- But the shrill wild cry of the heron overpowered the cries of all the other birds, whom it seemed to terrify; they were silent the moment they heard it, and a silence followed which made the interruption doubly unpleasant.
- A desperate or urgent request.
- (obsolete) Common report; gossip.
- c. 1603–1604 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene i]:
- The cry goes that you shall marry her.
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
- cry in An American Dictionary of the English Language, by Noah Webster, 1828.
- “cry”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.
- “cry”, in The Century Dictionary […], New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911, →OCLC.
cry m (plural crys)
- French: cri
- to call, to give a name to
- A body whit studies the history is cried a historian an aw.
- (please add an English translation of this usage example)
- Alternative form of
- 1867, “SONG”, in SONGS, ETC. IN THE DIALECT OF FORTH AND BARGY, number 7:
- An hea zet up a pouingaan an a cry.
- And he set up a puingaan and a cry.
- Jacob Poole (1867), William Barnes, editor, A Glossary, With some Pieces of Verse, of the old Dialect of the English Colony in the Baronies of Forth and Bargy, County of Wexford, Ireland, London: J. Russell Smith, page 108