17 other words for ‘cry’

We use the word ‘cry’ commonly in English, yet there are many other different words you can use instead to be more specific and make your writing more interesting.

Here are some synonyms for ‘cry’ when used to mean that someone is unhappy:

bawlThe moment the baby saw me, it stopped bawling.
blubberAfter losing his dummy, the toddler blubbered for the next half hour.
break downHe was being so kind that I just broke down.
burst into tearsHe immediately burst into tears and ran from the kitchen.
howlThe baby was howling for her morning feed.
shed tears Dad’s advice is not to shed tears over something that is in the past.
snivel“Stop snivelling and you might get a lolly,” the girl’s mother snapped.
sobMilly sobbed her heart out when her best friend moved away.
weepAfter her sisters went out, Cinderella wept silently.
whimperThe baby woke up and started to whimper in his cot.

When ‘cry’ is used to mean shout, the following words could be used:

bawlEveryone came running when the camp cook bawled “Dinner’s ready!”
bellow“Time for school,” Dad bellowed up the stairs.
boom“Attention!” boomed the sergeant major to the new recruits.
callWhen I saw my friend on the other side of the street, I called out her name.
shoutBen shouted for help when he saw the child fall into the pond.
shriek ‘Stop it! Stop it!’ shrieked Jane.
yell“Watch out!” yelled Yanni as the tennis ball flew in Aidan’s direction.

Look at the Thesaurus entry for cry to find other synonyms and examples.

All opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of Collins, or its parent company, HarperCollins.

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