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From Middle English crien, from Old French crier (to announce publicly, proclaim, scream, shout) (whence Medieval Latin crīdō (to cry out, shout, publish, proclaim)), 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), Latin gingrītus (the cackling of geese), Middle Irish grith (a cry), Welsh gryd (a scream).



cry (third-person singular simple present cries, present participle crying, simple past and past participle cried)

a woman crying (1)
  1. (intransitive) To shed tears; to weep.
    That sad movie always makes me cry.
  2. (transitive) To utter loudly; to call out; to declare publicly.
    • Shakespeare
      All, all, cry shame against ye, yet I'll speak.
    • Bunyan
      The man [] ran on, crying, Life! life! Eternal life!
  3. (transitive, intransitive) To shout, scream, yell.
    • Bible, Matthew xxvii. 46
      And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice.
  4. (intransitive) To utter inarticulate sounds, as animals do.
    • Bible, Psalms cxlvii. 9
      the young ravens which cry
    • Shakespeare
      In a cowslip's bell I lie / There I couch when owls do cry.
  5. (transitive) To cause to do something, or bring to some state, by crying or weeping.
    Tonight I'll cry myself to sleep.
  6. To make oral and public proclamation of; to notify or advertise by outcry, especially things lost or found, goods to be sold, etc.
    to cry goods
    • Crashaw
      Love is lost, and thus she cries him.
  7. Hence, to publish the banns of, as for marriage.
    • Judd
      I should not be surprised if they were cried in church next Sabbath.



Derived terms[edit]



cry (plural cries)

  1. A shedding of tears; the act of crying.
    After we broke up, I retreated to my room for a good cry.
  2. A shout or scream.
    I heard a cry from afar.
  3. Words shouted or screamed.
    a battle cry
  4. (collectively) A group of hounds.
    • Shakespeare
      A cry more tunable / Was never hollaed to, nor cheered with horn.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Milton to this entry?)
  5. (obsolete, derogatory) A pack or company of people.
    • Shakespeare
      Would not this [] get me a fellowship in a cry of players?
  6. (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.
  7. A desperate or urgent request.
  8. (obsolete) Common report; gossip.
    • Shakespeare
      The cry goes that you shall marry her.

Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

See also[edit]



Middle French[edit]


From Old French cri.


cry m (plural crys)

  1. cry; shout




cry (third-person singular present cries, present participle cryin, past cried, past participle cried)

  1. to call, to give a name to
    • A body whit studies the history is cried a historian an aw.