Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


Her cries and pleadings were being smothered down on his breast.

He cries a minute, then forgets all about it, and grabs up something else to play with.

"Then give me mine," cries the critic, stretching out his palm.

Their cries, their movements, and their natures are similar.

It is he who cries the loudest when things go wrong; and I never cry.

She stuffed her fingers into her ears to shut out the sound of her brother's cries.

I began to question my companion as to some of the cries we heard.

An implement that cries aloud for hands accustomed to the pen.

Vehement cheers from the ministerial benches; cries of "Order!"

The following are some of the cries by which this class is distinguished.


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.

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.