cry wolf


cry wolf


  • to keep asking for help, even when you don’t need it. When you really need help, no one believes you.
  • to state that there is a problem when there is none. In the event that a real problem comes up no one believes you
  • to claim that something is happening when it isn’t
  • give a false warning of danger, etc. by crying unnecessarily for help

Example Sentences

  1. The little boy had cried wolf so many times that when he was really sick no one believed him.
  2. The woman cried wolf so often that when she really needed help the security company took their time to get to her.
  3. These doomsday cults have cried wolf so many times that no one even listens to them anymore.
  4. As the children has cried wolf too often, the parents has stopped taking its notice.


The idiom is based on a story about a young shepherd. He kept on calling the villagers and telling them that a wolf was attacking his sheep and it always proved to be a joke. When a real wolf came no one believed his cries and all of the sheep were attacked.

It was translated from one of Aesop’s fables in 1692. Aesop was a Greek storyteller who lived in 620 BCE. The moral is that no one believes a liar, even when he is telling the truth.

It has been used to indicate that a false alarm has been raised since the 1800s.

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‒ John Doe March 26, 2018

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