Definition of cry verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    cry

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//kraɪ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//kraɪ//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they cry
    BrE BrE//kraɪ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//kraɪ//
     
    he / she / it cries
    BrE BrE//kraɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//kraɪz//
     
    past simple cried
    BrE BrE//kraɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//kraɪd//
     
    past participle cried
    BrE BrE//kraɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//kraɪd//
     
    -ing form crying
    BrE BrE//ˈkraɪɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkraɪɪŋ//
     
    Unhappiness
     
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  1. 1  [intransitive, transitive] to produce tears from your eyes because you are unhappy or hurt It's all right. Don't cry. I just couldn't stop crying. The little boy fell over and started to cry. cry for somebody/something The baby was crying for (= because it wanted) its mother. cry about/over something There's nothing to cry about. cry with something He felt like crying with rage. + speech ‘Waaa!’ she cried. I found him crying his eyes out (= crying very much). That night she cried herself to sleep. Vocabulary BuildingCryTo cry is the most general word for producing tears when you are unhappy or hurt, or when you are extremely happy. To sob means to cry noisily, taking sudden, sharp breaths. To wail means to cry in a loud high voice. To whimper means to cry making low, weak noises. To weep (literary or formal) means to cry quietly for a long time.All these verbs can be used like ‘say’:‘I don’t want you to go,’ she cried/wailed/sobbed. To be in tears means to be crying. To burst into tears means to suddenly begin to cry. To cry your eyes out means to cry a lot or for a long time, because you are very sad. See related entries: Unhappiness
  2. 2  [intransitive, transitive] to shout loudly cry for something She ran to the window and cried for help. + speech ‘You're safe!’ Tom cried in delight. Synonymsshoutyell cry scream cheer bellow raise your voiceThese words all mean to say something in a very loud voice.shout to say something in a loud voice; to speak loudly and often angrily to somebody:Stop shouting and listen! ‘Run!’ he shouted.yell to shout loudly, for example because you are angry, excited, frightened or in pain:She yelled at the boy to get down from the wall.cry (rather formal or literary) to shout loudly:She ran over to the window and cried for help.scream to shout something in a loud high voice because you are afraid, angry or excited:He screamed at me to stop.cheer (especially of a crowd of people) to shout loudly to show support or praise for somebody, or to give them encouragement:We all cheered as the team came onto the field.bellow to shout in a loud deep voice, especially because you are angry:‘Quiet!’ the teacher bellowed.raise your voice to speak loudly to somebody, especially because you are angry:She never once raised her voice to us.Patterns to shout/yell/cry/raise your voice to somebody to shout/yell/scream/bellow at somebody to shout/yell/cry out/scream/bellow in pain/anguish/rage, etc. to shout/cry out/scream for joy/excitement/delight, etc. to shout/yell/cry out/scream with excitement/triumph, etc. to shout/yell/scream/bellow at somebody to do something to shout/yell/scream abuse to shout/yell/cry/scream for help
  3. 3[intransitive] (of a bird or an animal) to make a loud unpleasant noise Seagulls followed the boat, crying loudly.
  4. Word Origin Middle English (in the sense ‘ask for earnestly or loudly’): from Old French crier (verb), cri (noun), from Latin quiritare ‘raise a public outcry’, literally ‘call on the Quirites (Roman citizens) for help’.Extra examples ‘Never!’ he cried angrily. ‘What do you mean?’ she cried in agitation. ‘Who’s there?’ she cried in a shrill voice. Anna was almost crying with frustration. Finally he broke down and cried like a baby. He put his head on his arms and cried bitterly. He was a fatherly shoulder to cry on when things went wrong. I felt like I wanted to cry. I felt like crying when I found out what had happened. I heard her cry out in her sleep. I wasn’t going to waste time crying over him! She cried for help as the fire spread. She wanted to cry out to him not to be so stupid. What are you crying about? a child crying for his mother children who are left to cry alone ‘You’re safe!’ Tom cried with delight. A pair of eagles cried out to each other as they circled above the trees. He bit his lip, trying not to cry out in pain. I found him crying his eyes out. I just couldn’t stop crying. It’s all right. Don’t cry. She ran over to the window and cried for help. That night she cried herself to sleep. The baby was crying for its mother. There’s nothing to cry about. We heard someone cry out in the darkness.Idioms (informal) to complain that somebody else has done something wrong or unfair
    cry over spilt ˈmilk(British English)(US English cry over spilled ˈmilk)
     
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    to waste time worrying about something that has happened that you cannot do anything about As the saying goes—it's no use crying over spilt milk.
    to call for help when you do not need it, with the result that when you do need it people do not believe you
    for ˌcrying out ˈloud
     
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    (informal) used to show you are angry or surprised For crying out loud! Why did you have to do that?
    laugh till/until you ˈcry
     
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    to laugh so long and hard that there are tears in your eyes
    not know whether to ˌlaugh or ˈcry
     
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    (informal) to be unable to decide how to react to a bad or unfortunate situation
    used to describe a person who listens to your problems and gives you sympathy
    Phrasal Verbsˌcry ˈoffˌcry ˈoutˌcry ˈout for something
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: cry