cried


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cry on (someone's) shoulder

To tell one's troubles and woes to a sympathetic person. After the breakup, he cried on my shoulder all night long.
See also: cry, on, shoulder

cry the blues

1. Literally, to sing blues music or in that style. There was this old man crying the blues at the bar last night; it was a really moving bit of music.
2. By extension, to complain, whine, or express grief, especially as a means of gaining sympathy from others. Many people will cry the blues over trivial inconveniences, while millions of others silently suffer real hardships every day.
See also: blues, cry

cry uncle

To admit defeat and/or plead for mercy, especially in an informal physical contest of some kind. The brothers often play fought, but it was invariably the younger of the two who had to cry uncle by the end.
See also: cry, uncle

cry barley

To call for a truce, typically in a children's game. Don't cry barley now, you wuss! Let's keep playing Red Rover!
See also: cry

cry for the moon

To make an impractical or unreasonable request, especially one that is unlikely to happen. Oh, you want a later curfew, huh? Well, you're crying for the moon—11 o'clock is late enough!
See also: cry, moon

cry foul

To protest against something that has happened. A: "How could you go through my things without asking?" B: "Oh, don't cry foul—I was just looking for my sweater and I found it. It's not a big deal." Dad cried foul when I forgot to put gas in his car after borrowing it.
See also: cry, foul

cry in (one's) beer

To feel sorry for oneself. To bemoan one's fate or life. Don't cry in your beer, man. I know you're bummed about Amanda, but if she broke up with you, she's not the one.
See also: beer, cry

cry on (one's) shoulder

To bemoan one's problems to someone else. We need to try to cheer Ben up—he's been crying on my shoulder all week. Can I please cry on your shoulder for a little bit? I just found out I failed my Bio exam.
See also: cry, on, shoulder

cry over spilt milk

To be upset over something that cannot be fixed, often something minor. Please calm down, you're just crying over spilt milk. We already submitted the report, so we can't fix it now. A: "Why is Hannah so upset?" B: "Oh, she's just crying over spilt milk. She just fell down and ripped her stockings—she'll be fine."
See also: cry, milk, over, spilt

cry stinking fish

To undermine one's own efforts. To put oneself down. Primarily heard in UK. A: "And I'm awful at doing reports." B: "Come on, buddy, don't cry stinking fish! You're so talented and have so much to offer the company—don't put yourself down!"
See also: cry, fish, stinking

laugh all the way to the bank

To profit or benefit from something that is regarded by others as frivolous or stupid. That movie is dumb, but it's a big hit, and the studio executives will laugh all the way to the bank. They can mock us all they want because we'll be laughing all the way to the bank when our banana re-peeler is sold in stores nationwide.
See also: all, bank, laugh, way

break down and cry

To cry after losing control of one's emotions, especially after trying not to or after an intense buildup. My mother seems fine now, but I think she'll break down and cry during the funeral.
See also: and, break, cry, down

cry (one's) eyes out

To cry for an extended period of time. Poor Jane really cried her eyes out during the funeral service. I can't watch those sappy movies because I just cry my eyes out every time.
See also: cry, eye, out

cry (one's) heart out

To cry for an extended period of time. Poor Jane really cried her heart out during the funeral service. I can't watch those sappy movies because I just cry my heart out every time.
See also: cry, heart, out

cry all the way to the bank

To be unfazed by the fact that one has profited from something disreputable or shameful. This set phrase is often used sarcastically. I would be horrified to have my name attached to these trashy novels, but this author seems to be crying all the way to the bank. A: "That was such a terrible movie." B: "And I'm sure the actors are crying all the way to the bank."
See also: all, bank, cry, way

cry bloody murder

To scream as though one is experiencing something very dangerous, serious, or frightening (which is not usually the case). Joey cried bloody murder after his scoop of ice cream fell off the cone. You need to stop crying bloody murder over every little injury—a paper cut is not a big deal!
See also: bloody, cry, murder

cry down

1. To deride or mistreat someone or something. If you want to keep your friends, don't cry down to people just because you're rich and famous now.
2. To overshadow or silence someone or something by making more noise than that person or thing. The dictator vowed to cry down the protests.
See also: cry, down

cry like a baby

To cry in a disconsolate manner. I can't watch those sappy movies because I just cry like a baby every time.
See also: baby, cry, like

cry off

To abandon something that one has promised to do. Andrew was supposed to help me move today, but he cried off this morning, to my great disappointment.
See also: cry, off

cry out

1. To shout or yell to someone or something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "cry" and "out." I cried out to my dad as soon as I saw the flood in the basement. Even though I cried out to my dog repeatedly, he continued running down the street.
2. To shout because one is feeling something, such as pain or a particular emotion. A noun or pronoun can be used between "cry" and "out." Molly cried out when the lobby door closed on her hand.
See also: cry, out

cry out for (someone or something)

1. To express a want or need (which is typically stated after "for"). I've been rocking the baby for an hour, but she's still crying out for her mother.
2. To be in need of something. My hair is just crying out for a trim—it's been too long since my last trip to the salon.
3. To encourage someone or something. The singer's fans cried out for him to take the stage.
See also: cry, out

cry over spilled milk

To be upset over something that cannot be fixed, often something minor. Please calm down, you're just crying over spilled milk. We already submitted the report, so we can't fix it now. A: "Why is Hannah so upset?" B: "Oh, she's just crying over spilled milk. She just fell down and ripped her stockings—she'll be fine."
See also: cry, milk, over, spill

cry up

1. To strongly support someone or something and encourage others to do the same. A noun or pronoun can be used between "cry" and "up." Many people in our small town are crying up that big construction project because the closest store right now is 10 miles away.
2. To laud someone or something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "cry" and "up." I thought your work on this project was excellent and was sure to cry it up to the department head.
See also: cry, up

cry wolf

To claim that something is happening when it really isn't, which results in subsequent valid claims being rejected. The expression comes from one of Aesop's fables, in which a young shepherd lies about a wolf threatening his flock so many times that people do not believe him when he and his flock are legitimately in danger. I'm sure there's no real crisis—Janet is always crying wolf so that we'll do her work for her.
See also: cry, wolf

cry all the way to the bank

Fig. to make a lot of money on something that one ought to be ashamed of. Jane: Have you read the new book by that romance novelist? They say it sold a million copies, but it's so badly written that the author ought to be ashamed of herself. Alan: I'm sure she's crying all the way to the bank. That dreadful movie had no artistic merit. I suppose the people who produced it are crying all the way to the bank.
See also: all, bank, cry, way

cry bloody murder

Fig. to scream as if something very serious has happened, especially unnecessarily. Now that Bill is really hurt, he's crying bloody murder. There is no point in crying bloody murder about the bill if you knew the restaurant was expensive.
See also: bloody, cry, murder

cry out (in something)

 and cry out (with something)
to scream or shout in pain, joy, anger, etc. The child cried out in pain. On seeing his father, the overjoyed little boy cried out.
See also: cry, out

cry out (in something)

 and cry out (with something)
to scream or shout in pain, joy, anger, etc. The child cried out in pain. On seeing his father, the overjoyed little boy cried out.
See also: cry, out

cry over spilled milk

Fig. to be unhappy about what cannot be undone. (See also It's no use crying over spilled milk.) He is always crying over spilled milk. He cannot accept reality. It can't be helped. Don't cry over spilled milk.
See also: cry, milk, over, spill

cry (something) out (to someone or an animal)

to yell something to someone or an animal. She cried a warning out to the others. Sally cried out a warning to the people behind her. The trainer cried a command out to the runaway horse.
See also: cry, out

cry wolf

Fig. to cry or complain about something when nothing is really wrong. (From the story wherein a child sounds the alarm frequently about a wolf when there is no wolf, only to be ignored when there actually is a wolf.) Pay no attention. She's just crying wolf again. Don't cry wolf too often. No one will come.
See also: cry, wolf

laugh all the way to the bank

Fig. to be very happy about money that has been earned by doing something that other people might think is unfair or that they criticized. He may not be in the nicest business, but he is doing well and can laugh all the way to the bank. She makes tons of money doing what no one else will do and laughs all the way to the bank.
See also: all, bank, laugh, way

cry off

Break or withdraw from a promise or agreement, as in We thought we'd bought the car, but the owner cried off at the last minute. [Late 1700s]
See also: cry, off

cry uncle

Also, say uncle. Concede defeat, as in The Serbs want the Bosnians to cry uncle, or If you say uncle right now, I'll let you go first in the next game. This phrase originated about 1900 as an imperative among school-children who would say, "Cry uncle when you've had enough (of a beating)." By the mid-1900s it was being used figuratively, as in the examples.
See also: cry, uncle

cry wolf

Raise a false alarm, as in Helen's always crying wolf about attempted break-ins, but the police can never find any evidence . This term comes from the tale about a young shepherd watching his flock who, lonely and fearful, called for help by shouting "Wolf!" After people came to his aid several times and saw no wolf, they ignored his cries when a wolf actually attacked his sheep. The tale appeared in a translation of Aesop's fables by Roger L'Estrange (1692), and the expression has been applied to any false alarm since the mid-1800s.
See also: cry, wolf

laugh all the way to the bank

Also, cried all the way to the bank. Exult in a financial gain from something that had either been derided or thought worthless. For example, You may not think much of this comedian, but he's laughing all the way to the bank. Despite the seeming difference between laugh and cry, the two terms are virtually synonymous, the one with cry being used ironically and laugh straightforwardly. [c. 1960]
See also: all, bank, laugh, way

cry wolf

COMMON If someone cries wolf, they claim that they are in danger or trouble when they are not, so that when they really are in danger or trouble and ask for help, no one believes them or helps them. Tom was just crying wolf. He wanted attention. Farmers have cried wolf in the past but this time, the industry really is at crisis point.
See also: cry, wolf

cry foul

protest strongly about a real or imagined wrong or injustice.
Foul in this context means foul play , a violation of the rules of a game to which attention is drawn by shouting ‘foul!’
1998 Times She can't cry foul when subjected to fair and standard competition.
See also: cry, foul

cry stinking fish

disparage your own efforts or products.
This expression stems from the practice of street vendors crying their wares (i.e. shouting and praising their goods) to attract customers. If a vendor were to cry ‘stinking fish’, he could not expect to attract many.
1991 Independent on Sunday I want to use the Home Affairs Committee Report for those in racing to go forward together and at last to stop crying ‘stinking fish’.
See also: cry, fish, stinking

laugh all the way to the bank

make a great deal of money with very little effort. informal
1998 Country Life In the Taw Valley they don't need to say ‘cheese’ to raise a smile—they just whisper ‘environment’ and laugh all the way to the bank.
See also: all, bank, laugh, way

cry over spilt (or spilled) milk

lament or make a fuss about a misfortune that has happened and that cannot be changed or reversed.
See also: cry, milk, over, spilt

cry (or ask) for the moon

ask for what is unattainable or impossible. British
The moon in this expression, which dates from the mid 16th century, stands for something distant and unattainable, as it does in promise someone the moon below.
See also: cry, moon

cry (or say or yell) uncle

surrender or admit defeat. North American informal
1989 Guy Vanderhaeghe Homesick Beat him six ways to Sunday and he still would never cry uncle or allow that there was an outside chance of his ever being wrong.
See also: cry, uncle

cry wolf

call for help when it is not needed; raise a false alarm.
An old fable tells the tale of a shepherd boy who constantly raised false alarms with cries of ‘Wolf!’, until people no longer took any notice of him. When a wolf did actually appear and attack him, his genuine cries for help were ignored and no one came to his aid.
See also: cry, wolf

ˌcry ˈfoul

(informal) complain that somebody else has done something wrong or unfair: When the Labour party candidate didn’t win the election, he cried foul and demanded a recount.
In sport, a foul is an action that is against the rules of the game.
See also: cry, foul

cry ˈwolf

repeatedly say there is danger, etc. when there is none, or ask for help when there is no need (with the result that people do not think you are telling the truth when there is real danger or when you really need help): Is the economic future really so bad? Or are the economists just crying wolf?This refers to the traditional story of the shepherd boy who shouted ‘Wolf!’ just to frighten people, so that when a wolf did come, nobody went to help him.
See also: cry, wolf

laugh all the way to the ˈbank

(informal) make a lot of money easily and feel very pleased about it: With profits continuing to rise, both investors and company bosses are laughing all the way to the bank.
See also: all, bank, laugh, way

cry down

v.
To belittle or disparage someone or something: The rowdy children cried down anyone who attempted to quiet them. The opposition cried us down at every opportunity.
See also: cry, down

cry off

v.
To decide to break a commitment or promise: My volleyball partner cried off at the last moment and forced me to cancel the game.
See also: cry, off

cry up

v.
1. To make a strong case for something; try to make others enthusiastic about something: The governor spent a lot of time crying up the new tax bill. The company hires celebrities to cry its products up.
2. To praise or extol something: The sports commentators are crying up the new players on the soccer team. The new romantic comedy didn't look very good, but the film critics sure cried it up.
See also: cry, up

cry over spilled milk

To regret in vain what cannot be undone or rectified.
See also: cry, milk, over, spill

cry wolf

To raise a false alarm.
See also: cry, wolf

laugh all the way to the bank

To take glee in making money, especially from activity that others consider to be unimpressive or unlikely to turn a profit.
See also: all, bank, laugh, way

cry wolf

To raise a false alarm, to ask for assistance when you don't need it, and by extension, to exaggerate or lie. The phrase comes from the Aesop fable, “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” in which a young shepherd found it amusing to make villagers think a wolf is attacking his flock. When they came to his rescue, they learned of the false alarm. However, when a wolf actually menaced the flock, the villagers disregarded the shepherd's calls for help, and the wolf ate the flock (and in some versions the boy). The moral: “Even when liars tell the truth, they are never believed."
See also: cry, wolf
References in periodicals archive ?
SIMON GREENING, 27, head of music at Liverpool's Juice FM ``I last cried when a friend of mine went travelling and I had to think about not seeing them for months.
I have also cried when I'm very happy, for example on my wedding day.
I had to do a lot of research and met a lot of angry young people and I cried a lot during those few years.
It is perhaps a good test -- the last time we cried, what did we cry for?
The boy who fell over Niagara Falls contains most of what has come to be identified with Ader's mature work, especially his witty use of the pared-down poetic metaphor (the sips of water contain the cataract in a glass; the suggestion of the watery falls recapitulates the pratfalls that make up a number of Ader's best projects as well as the tears he cried, and the ocean he drowned in).
I cried for what must have been close to 30 minutes.
The book is called 911: The Day America Cried, A collection of poems, letters, and stories on an American tragedy, ISBN 0-9713266-5-7, 288 pages, $15.
A friend of mine always refers to the fact that I cried at Jurassic Park.
Unlike their nondepressed counterparts in the study, depressed volunteers who cried while watching an upsetting film often didn't report accompanying spikes in sad feelings.
Both depressed and nondepressed women cried far more often than their male counterparts did.
The sky cried passionately, with a rage or a dripping.
The earth was very upset and cried whenever a tree fell.
Research carried out by tissue manufacturers Kleenex claims one in five fathers said that they cried at the birth of their first child and three-quarters of men think it is now socially acceptable to shed a tear.
ANTONIO BANDERAS and Justin Timberlake held hands and cried at the end of Shrek 2.