cry wolf

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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 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

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

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 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

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

cry wolf

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

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 ?
Adds Vernetson, who chairs the National Organization of Test, Research, and Training Reactors (TRTR), "I don't think we're crying wolf when we estimate that within three years we'll lose 15 to 20 of these reactors from closings," his own among them.
While it might increase their stock price in the short term, companies that are warning consumers about a chip shortage are really crying wolf,'' says Brian Abrahams, director of marketing for VisionTek, based in Gurnee.
Godolphin run both Mizwaaj and Crying Wolf, and punters are likely to place a good deal of significance on Frankie Dettori being aboard Crying Wolf.
The message simply isn't getting through to people - I think they see it as the club crying wolf again," said one Drogs fan at the meeting.
If everyone lived within their means, instead of on the never never and bits of plastic, they wouldn't now be crying wolf.
I'd submit that it is Jeffrey who is crying wolf and should go home and reread the ``Three Little Pigs.
The 12-week qualifying period for equal pay will preserve jobs, and any employers shouting otherwise are crying wolf.
But we felt we had to make the public aware it was not a case of crying wolf.
It's crying wolf to scare everybody regarding the bond issue - and especially at the start of negotiations with employee unions,'' said teacher Marty Meeden, former president of the teachers union.
The Barnardo's children charity are not known for crying wolf or using excessive language to highlight the issues facing some of our poorest families.
If companies are crying wolf to slip extra cash into their pockets, the government must slap on a Fat Cat tax to subsidise bills.
Since riverside wards have access to many additional and substantial funds, Labour councillors are crying wolf.