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cry for (someone or something)
1. To express a want or need through crying. I've been rocking the baby for an hour, but she's still crying for her mother.
2. To be in need of something. My hair is just crying for a trim—it's been too long since my last trip to the salon.
3. To cry over someone's or something's departure or absence. Oh, don't cry for me—I'll be back home at the end of the semester.
4. To yell or call for someone or something. I cried for my dad as soon as I saw the flood in the basement.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
cry for someone or something
1. to weep for the absence or loss of someone or something. No need to cry for me. Take care of yourself. She cried for her lost cat.
2. to shout a demand for someone or something. She cried for help, but no one heard her. Tony cried for Walter, but he did not hear.
3. to cry or bawl, signaling the need or want for someone or something. (As done by a baby.) The baby cried for a bottle. Little Jimmy was crying for his mother.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Also, cry out for; have a crying need for. Be in urgent need of, as in This wall cries for a second coat of paint, or This car is crying out for a good washing, or There is a crying need for order in this house. The figurative use of cry for, literally meaning "implore" or "weep for," dates from the late 1500s, as does the use of crying for "demanding attention." The first variant, alluding to actually shouting out one's needs or desires, dates from the second half of the 1800s.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.