27 Idioms for Crying: Expressions of Sorrow and Emotion


Crying is a universal human experience, and it often serves as an emotional release valve. But did you know that language has a multitude of idiomatic expressions related to crying?

From crying over spilled milk to crying for the impossible, let’s explore these fascinating idioms and their emotional connections.

idioms for crying

What is an idiom for crying?

Idioms are phrases or expressions that convey meanings beyond the literal interpretation of their words.

Idioms for crying often evoke strong emotions, capturing the essence of sorrow, frustration, or even joy.


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Here’s a list of idioms related to crying, along with their meanings and usage:

IdiomMeaningExample Sentence
Cry over spilled milkTo be upset about something that has already happened and cannot be changed.There’s no use crying over spilled milk; let’s clean it up and move on.
Cry wolfTo give a false alarm or raise a false alarm.He cried wolf so many times that no one believed him when there was a real emergency.
Cry like a babyTo cry uncontrollably and loudly.After losing the game, he cried like a baby on the sidelines.
Cry a riverTo cry profusely and for an extended period.She cried a river when her favorite character died in the movie.
Cry one’s eyes outTo cry intensely or for a long time.She cried her eyes out when she received the heartbreaking news.
Cry for helpTo seek assistance or support when in a difficult situation.He knew he had to cry for help when he couldn’t find his way out of the forest.
Cry foulTo protest against something perceived as unfair or unjust.The team captain cried foul when the referee made a questionable call.
Cry on someone’s shoulderTo confide in someone and seek emotional support.She cried on her friend’s shoulder after a tough breakup.
Cry bloody murderTo scream or protest loudly and vehemently.The child cried bloody murder when he saw a spider in his room.
Cry into one’s beerTo complain or express sorrow, especially when drinking alcohol.After losing his job, he spent hours crying into his beer at the local bar.
Cry for the moonTo ask for something that is impossible or highly unlikely.Requesting a week off just before a major project deadline is like crying for the moon.
Cry for joyTo cry tears of happiness or extreme emotion.When they reunited after years apart, they cried for joy.
Cry crocodile tearsTo fake or insincere crying, often for manipulative purposes.She was just crying crocodile tears to get out of trouble; she wasn’t really sorry.
Cry for attentionTo behave in a way that seeks others’ notice or sympathy.Her constant complaints were just a cry for attention.
Cry in one’s beerTo express sorrow or regrets while drinking alcohol.He spent the evening crying in his beer, lamenting the missed opportunities.
Cry a blue streakTo cry loudly and vigorously.When he found out he won the lottery, he cried a blue streak of joy.
Cry a stormTo cry intensely or uncontrollably.After the breakup, she cried a storm for days.
Cry the bluesTo express sadness or sorrow through music or song.Blues musicians often cry the blues with soulful melodies.
Cry uncleTo admit defeat or surrender.After hours of wrestling, he finally cried uncle and tapped out.
Cry a thousand tearsTo cry excessively or profoundly.She cried a thousand tears when her beloved pet passed away.
Cry like a little girlTo cry in a way that is perceived as weak or overly emotional.He mocked him for crying like a little girl during the scary movie.
Cry offTo cancel or withdraw from an obligation or commitment.She had to cry off from the event due to a sudden illness.
Cry for mercyTo beg for compassion or forgiveness.Facing punishment, he cried for mercy, promising never to repeat his mistake.
Cry for vengeanceTo seek revenge or retaliation.The character vowed to cry for vengeance after witnessing the injustice.
Cry for the hillsTo escape or flee from a dangerous or challenging situation.When the bear approached, they decided to cry for the hills.
Cry for the impossibleTo express a desire or wish for something highly unlikely to happen.Wanting a unicorn for her birthday was like crying for the impossible.
Cry oneself to sleepTo cry until falling asleep, often due to sadness or emotional turmoil.After the loss, she would cry herself to sleep every night.

Her tears were like a torrential rainstorm, pouring down without end. If you’re looking for more comparisons to describe crying, you can click on this link: Similes for crying. And for a variety of metaphors related to crying, you can explore this link: Metaphors for crying.

Idioms for Crying

1. Cry over spilled milk

Meaning: To be upset about something that has already happened and cannot be changed.
In a Sentence: There’s no use crying over spilled milk; let’s clean it up and move on.

2. Cry wolf

Meaning: To give a false alarm or raise a false alarm.
In a Sentence: He cried wolf so many times that no one believed him when there was a real emergency.

3. Cry like a baby

Meaning: To cry uncontrollably and loudly.
In a Sentence: After losing the game, he cried like a baby on the sidelines.

4. Cry a river

Meaning: To cry profusely and for an extended period.
In a Sentence: She cried a river when her favorite character died in the movie.

5. Cry one’s eyes out

Meaning: To cry intensely or for a long time.
In a Sentence: She cried her eyes out when she received the heartbreaking news.

6. Cry for help

Meaning: To seek assistance or support when in a difficult situation.
In a Sentence: He knew he had to cry for help when he couldn’t find his way out of the forest.

7. Cry foul

Meaning: To protest against something perceived as unfair or unjust.
In a Sentence: The team captain cried foul when the referee made a questionable call.

8. Cry on someone’s shoulder

Meaning: To confide in someone and seek emotional support.
In a Sentence: She cried on her friend’s shoulder after a tough breakup.

9. Cry bloody murder

Meaning: To scream or protest loudly and vehemently.
In a Sentence: The child cried bloody murder when he saw a spider in his room.

10. Cry into one’s beer

Meaning: To complain or express sorrow, especially when drinking alcohol.
In a Sentence: After losing his job, he spent hours crying into his beer at the local bar.

11. Cry for the moon

Meaning: To ask for something that is impossible or highly unlikely.
In a Sentence: Requesting a week off just before a major project deadline is like crying for the moon.

12. Cry for joy

Meaning: To cry tears of happiness or extreme emotion.
In a Sentence: When they reunited after years apart, they cried for joy.

13. Cry crocodile tears

Meaning: To fake or insincere crying, often for manipulative purposes.
In a Sentence: She was just crying crocodile tears to get out of trouble; she wasn’t really sorry.

14. Cry for attention

Meaning: To behave in a way that seeks others’ notice or sympathy.
In a Sentence: Her constant complaints were just a cry for attention.

15. Cry in one’s beer

Meaning: To express sorrow or regrets while drinking alcohol.
In a Sentence: He spent the evening crying in his beer, lamenting the missed opportunities.

16. Cry a blue streak

Meaning: To cry loudly and vigorously.
In a Sentence: When he found out he won the lottery, he cried a blue streak of joy.

17. Cry a storm

Meaning: To cry intensely or uncontrollably.
In a Sentence: After the breakup, she cried a storm for days.

18. Cry the blues

Meaning: To express sadness or sorrow through music or song.
In a Sentence: Blues musicians often cry the blues with soulful melodies.

19. Cry uncle

Meaning: To admit defeat or surrender.
In a Sentence: After hours of wrestling, he finally cried uncle and tapped out.

20. Cry a thousand tears

Meaning: To cry excessively or profoundly.
In a Sentence: She cried a thousand tears when her beloved pet passed away.

21. Cry like a little girl

Meaning: To cry in a way that is perceived as weak or overly emotional.
In a Sentence: He mocked him for crying like a little girl during the scary movie.

22. Cry off

Meaning: To cancel or withdraw from an obligation or commitment.
In a Sentence: She had to cry off from the event due to a sudden illness.

23. Cry for mercy

Meaning: To beg for compassion or forgiveness.
In a Sentence: Facing punishment, he cried for mercy, promising never to repeat his mistake.

24. Cry for vengeance

Meaning: To seek revenge or retaliation.
In a Sentence: The character vowed to cry for vengeance after witnessing the injustice.

25. Cry for the hills

Meaning: To escape or flee from a dangerous or challenging situation.
In a Sentence: When the bear approached, they decided to cry for the hills.

26. Cry for the impossible

Meaning: To express a desire or wish for something highly unlikely to happen.
In a Sentence: Wanting a unicorn for her birthday was like crying for the impossible.

27. Cry oneself to sleep

Meaning: To cry until falling asleep, often due to sadness or emotional turmoil.
In a Sentence: After the loss, she would cry herself to sleep every night.

Quizzes About The Idioms in The Article

Quiz 1:

Question: What does the idiom “Cry over spilled milk” mean?

  1. To express joy over an accident.
  2. To be upset about something that has already happened and cannot be changed.
  3. To cry when drinking milk.

Answer: 2. To be upset about something that has already happened and cannot be changed.


Quiz 2:

Question: What does the idiom “Cry wolf” imply?

  1. To raise a false alarm.
  2. To cry out in joy.
  3. To cry like a wolf.

Answer: 1. To raise a false alarm.


Quiz 3:

Question: What does “Cry a river” describe?

  1. To cry while near a river.
  2. To cry uncontrollably and for an extended period.
  3. To cry tears of happiness.

Answer: 2. To cry uncontrollably and for an extended period.


Quiz 4:

Question: What does the idiom “Cry for help” mean?

  1. To cry when someone needs assistance.
  2. To seek assistance or support when in a difficult situation.
  3. To cry during a happy moment.

Answer: 2. To seek assistance or support when in a difficult situation.


Quiz 5:

Question: When might you use the phrase “Cry foul”?

  1. To protest against something perceived as unfair or unjust.
  2. To cry out in a game.
  3. To cry tears of happiness.

Answer: 1. To protest against something perceived as unfair or unjust.


Quiz 6:

Question: What does “Cry for attention” imply?

  1. To seek emotional support.
  2. To behave in a way that seeks others’ notice or sympathy.
  3. To cry out for help.

Answer: 2. To behave in a way that seeks others’ notice or sympathy.


Quiz 7:

Question: When might someone “Cry into one’s beer”?

  1. To express joy while drinking alcohol.
  2. To complain or express sorrow, especially when drinking alcohol.
  3. To cry when toasting with beer.

Answer: 2. To complain or express sorrow, especially when drinking alcohol.


Quiz 8:

Question: What does the idiom “Cry a blue streak” describe?

  1. To cry in a calm and composed manner.
  2. To cry loudly and vigorously.
  3. To cry when feeling blue.

Answer: 2. To cry loudly and vigorously.


Quiz 9:

Question: When might you “Cry the blues”?

  1. To express joy through music or song.
  2. To express sadness or sorrow through music or song.
  3. To cry while singing the national anthem.

Answer: 2. To express sadness or sorrow through music or song.


Quiz 10:

Question: What does “Cry uncle” mean?

  1. To admit defeat or surrender.
  2. To cry out for help.
  3. To cry when visiting a relative.

Answer: 1. To admit defeat or surrender.

Conclusion

Idioms for crying provide a rich tapestry of expressions that reflect the complexity of human emotions. From tears of joy to cries for help, these idioms allow us to convey our feelings and experiences with depth and nuance.

Cite this entry:

Phrasesdirectory.com. “,” Retrieved from Phrases Directory – Accessed

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