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



    BrE BrE//kraɪ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//kraɪ//
    (pl. cries)
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  1. 1  [countable] a loud sound without words that expresses a strong feeling to give a cry of anguish/despair/relief/surprise/terror, etc.
  2. 2  [countable] a loud shout With a cry of ‘Stop thief!’ he ran after the boy. Her answer was greeted with cries of outrage.
  3. 3  [countable] the sound made by a bird or an animal the cry of gulls circling overhead
  4. 4  [singular] an action or a period of crying I felt a lot better after a good long cry.
  5. 5  [countable] cry (for something) an urgent demand or request for something Her suicide attempt was really a cry for help.
  6. 6[countable] (especially in compounds) a word or phrase that expresses a group’s beliefs and calls people to action a battle cry His speech attacking the government has proved a rallying cry for party dissidents.
  7. Word OriginMiddle 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 An involuntary cry escaped her as he entered the room. He fell to the ground with a cry. He tried to yell out, but the hand muffled his cries. He was too weak to raise even the smallest of cries. Her suicide attempt was really a desperate cry for help. She gave an agonized cry as they lifted the fallen branch from her leg. She stifled a small cry. You’ll feel better when you’ve had a good cry. a cry of despair/​delight a plaintive cry for help the hoarse cry of a crow He gave a loud cry of despair. The eagle gave a cry as it circled overhead.Idioms
    a far cry from something
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    a very different experience from something synonym remote All this luxury was a far cry from the poverty of his childhood.
    strong public protest about something Further cuts in welfare have raised a hue and cry among the American public. talking or shouting loudly and in an enthusiastic way The Leeds supporters were in full cry.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: cry