a far cry

a far cry

verb (used without object), cried, cry·ing.

  1. to utter inarticulate sounds, especially of lamentation, grief, or suffering, usually with tears.
  2. to weep; shed tears, with or without sound.
  3. to call loudly; shout; yell (sometimes followed by out).
  4. to demand resolution or strongly indicate a particular disposition: The rise in crime cried out for greater police protection.
  5. to give forth vocal sounds or characteristic calls, as animals; yelp; bark.
  6. (of a hound or pack) to bay continuously and excitedly in following a scent.
  7. (of tin) to make a noise, when bent, like the crumpling of paper.

verb (used with object), cried, cry·ing.

  1. to utter or pronounce loudly; call out.
  2. to announce publicly as for sale; advertise: to cry one’s wares.
  3. to beg or plead for; implore: to cry mercy.
  4. to bring (oneself) to a specified state by weeping: The infant cried itself to sleep.

noun, plural cries.

  1. the act or sound of crying; any loud utterance or exclamation; a shout, scream, or wail.
  2. clamor; outcry.
  3. a fit of weeping: to have a good cry.
  4. the utterance or call of an animal.
  5. a political or party slogan.
  6. battle cry.
  7. an oral proclamation or announcement.
  8. a call of wares for sale, services available, etc., as by a street vendor.
  9. public report.
  10. an opinion generally expressed.
  11. an entreaty; appeal.
  12. Fox Hunting.
    1. a pack of hounds.
    2. a continuous baying of a hound or a pack in following a scent.

Verb Phrases

  1. cry down, to disparage; belittle: Those people cry down everyone who differs from them.
  2. cry off, to break a promise, agreement, etc.: We made arrangements to purchase a house, but the owner cried off at the last minute.
  3. cry up, to praise; extol: to cry up one’s profession.

  1. a far cry,
    1. quite some distance; a long way.
    2. only remotely related; very different: This treatment is a far cry from that which we received before.
  2. cry havoc. havoc(def 4).
  3. cry one’s eyes/heart out, to cry excessively or inconsolably: The little girl cried her eyes out when her cat died.
  4. cry over spilled/spilt milk. milk(def 10).
  5. in full cry, in hot pursuit: The pack followed in full cry.

verb cries, crying or cried

  1. (intr) to utter inarticulate sounds, esp when weeping; sob
  2. (intr) to shed tears; weep
  3. (intr usually foll by out) to scream or shout in pain, terror, etc
  4. (tr often foll by out) to utter or shout (words of appeal, exclamation, fear, etc)
  5. (intr often foll by out) (of animals, birds, etc) to utter loud characteristic sounds
  6. (tr) to hawk or sell by public announcementto cry newspapers
  7. to announce (something) publicly or in the streets
  8. (intr foll by for) to clamour or beg
  9. Scot to call
  10. cry for the moon to desire the unattainable
  11. cry one’s eyes out or cry one’s heart out to weep bitterly
  12. cry quits or cry mercy to give up a task, fight, etc

noun plural cries

  1. the act or sound of crying; a shout, exclamation, scream, or wail
  2. the characteristic utterance of an animal or birdthe cry of gulls
  3. Scot a call
  4. archaic an oral announcement, esp one made by town criers
  5. a fit of weeping
  6. hunting the baying of a pack of hounds hunting their quarry by scent
  7. a pack of hounds
  8. a far cry
    1. a long way
    2. something very different
  9. in full cry (esp of a pack of hounds) in hot pursuit of a quarry

early 13c., “beg, implore,” from Old French crier, from Vulgar Latin *critare, from Latin quiritare “to wail, shriek” (source of Italian gridare, Old Spanish cridar, Spanish and Portuguese gritar), of uncertain origin; perhaps a variant of quirritare “to squeal like a pig,” from *quis, echoic of squealing, despite ancient folk etymology that traces it to “call for the help of the Quirites,” the Roman constabulary. The meaning was extended 13c. to weep, which it largely replaced by 16c. Related: Cried; crying.

Most languages, in common with English, use the general word for “cry out, shout, wail” to also mean “weep, shed tears to express pain or grief.” Romance and Slavic, however, use words for this whose ultimate meaning is “beat (the breast),” cf. French pleurer, Spanish llorar, both from Latin plorare “cry aloud,” but probably originally plodere “beat, clap the hands.” Also Italian piangere (cognate with French plaindre “lament, pity”) from Latin plangere, originally “beat,” but especially of the breast, as a sign of grief. U.S. colloquial for crying out loud is 1924, probably another euphemism for for Christ’s sake.


late 13c., from cry (v.).

see far cry.

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