hue and cry

Idioms & Phrases

hue and cry

A public clamor, as of protest or demand. For example, The reformers raised a hue and cry about political corruption. This redundant expression (hue and cry both mean "an outcry"), dating from the 1200s, originally meant "an outcry calling for the pursuit of a criminal." By the mid-1500s it was also being used more broadly, as in the example.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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