to cry wolf

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - cry wolf

"to cry wolf"

to ask for help when it is not needed such that when help is truly needed, no one believes you and no help comes


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - cry wolf

Two parents are talking ...

Father:  Is that our son Don yelling and screaming in his room again? How did he get into trouble this time?

Mother:  He was throwing a ball in the house and broke my favorite lamp.

Father:  He's been screaming for a long time.

Mother:  He always cries wolf when he is in trouble.

Father:  I better go check on him.

Later ...

Father:  He wasn't crying wolf this time.  The mattress from the top bunk fell on him and he was trapped.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - cry wolf

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1:  The Israeli foreign minister is in the news again convinced that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon.

Friend 2:  Didn't that same minister make the same claim last year and it turned out to be false?

Friend 1:  Yes. And the year before that and then two years before that. I think that claim has been made almost fifteen times now.

Friend 2:  If the Israelis keep crying wolf and if Iran actually does make a nuclear bomb, nobody will listen.

to cry wolf - Usage:


to cry wolf - Gerund Form:

Crying wolf a couple of times pretty well guarantees that the next time there is trouble, no one will believe you.

to cry wolf - Examples:

1)  No matter how many times central bank governor Mark Carney or people like me cry wolf, the housing market disproves us, year after year, rising far above the ...

2)  If we cry wolf for these fake amber alerts, we'll never take a real one serious when ...

3)  Unfortunately for those that' cry wolf' or make false accusations, it makes life for the legitimate sufferers even harder.

4)  John Oxford and the rest of the scientific community did not cry wolf over bird flu. H5N1 is still devastating rural areas in South East Asia.

5)  Israel, here, is at great risk of appearing to cry wolf, losing the support it has in the international community should the situation in Iran ...

6)  Yet now when the Super Power status is evaporating they are going to cry wolf and re introduce trade tariffs and protectionism to protect itself.

7)  Maybe if the media didn't cry wolf all the time, they would have been believed.

8)  ... so I think the trick is to choose wisely -- don't cry wolf all the time, but get your support system in place to help keep you ...

9)  People already think we're alarmist enough. Cry wolf one too many times and they won't pay attention when ...

10)  Take care not to "cry wolf," so to speak, because he will not believe you if you rescind

11)  ... will decry racism, they've worn out the effect of the charge by crying wolf so many times.

12)  ... only interested in themselves and will walk over anybody to achieve their goals but crying wolf doesn't help and actually hurts.

13)  We'll never be able to move on with people like TC, crying wolf 24/7.

14)  ... mistaken about the demographics, let him be duly raked over the coals for crying wolf unnecessarily.

15)  ... "womens freedom" are undermining their own cause. But hey, keeping crying wolf and see where that gets you in the end.

16)  ... because we've all become so jaded and sarcastic. It's like crying wolf.

17)  You let them off the hook if it happens once. Crying wolf at every minor infraction is not a good strategy.

18)  ... has come very near to reaching it's expiration date. The idiocy of crying wolf in the form of the race card has lost much of it's punch.

19)  Israelis have been crying wolf for more than 20 years and Iran still has not begun to produce a nuclear ...

20)  Your cries of "media bias" are starting be the equivalent of crying wolf. Every single journalist with a pulse is going to have opinions.