cries


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

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, 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

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 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 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, 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, 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

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 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 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, spill

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 ?
When a baby cries for more than an hour daily for no apparent reason, it is important to take him to the doctor as he may be colicky or have some other underlying health issue," says Dr Abdul Rasheed, paediatrician cardiologist, Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai.
He shows that although London Cries are not exact reflections of historical reality, they still provide a unique means of understanding the 'lower orders'.
On your lap: IF your baby cries persistently, you may find that laying him on his tummy across your lap makes him more comfortable.
Thereafter, it offers guidelines on how to treat a child according to his/her cries.
Cries against The System that allows schools to make millions in television, gate, and merchandise revenue; The System that allows coaches to make hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary, sneaker contracts and summer camps, not to mention bonuses for winning games in the NCAA tournament, while the young men who make it all possible aren't allowed to earn any outside income.
Tomomasa Nagashima of the Department of Computer Science and Systems Engineering, at Muroran Institute of Technology, in Hokkaido and colleagues explain that the fundamental problem in building an emotion detector for baby's crying is that the baby cannot confirm verbally what its cries mean.
British men have not yet caught up with the American male who, on average, cries 1.
Perhaps, then, the miracle of Exodus is not found in the wonder of the Burning Bush or the parting of the Red Sea, but in the fact that these signs reveal a compassionate God who is moved by the suffering and cries of a nation of slaves and who can hear this cry over the din of an empire.
And both the sentinel species issue false-alarm warning cries, Munn reports.
This is a very old ritual, where a girl cries when she leaves her family after marriage.
Hebrew National will then select two of the remaining finalists by the caliber of their audition tape hawker cries, and the last finalist will be chosen for his hawking prowess throughout the duration of the promotion.
For example, both morphine and sucrose infusions increase pain thresholds and reduce distress cries in 10-day-old rats; naltrexone, a substance that blocks opioid receptors and thus interferes with morphine's effects, similarly suppresses sucrose's ability to soothe.
In The Crying Game, Jaye Davidson cries for one man at first: Forest Whitaker.
He probably feels that picking her up when she cries will spoil her, so do explain all this to him.