to weep - to cry

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nurdug51

Senior Member
Germany,German
Is there any difference in meaning between the words : to wheep and to cry?
Or is it just a stylistic item, for example, if you don't want to use the same word twice?

nurdug51
 
  • cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Weeping (note the spelling; there is no "h".) is the result of emotion. Crying often results from emotion, but may be caused by physical pain or discomfort without any emotion.
     

    audiolaik

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Hi,

    weep: to express grief, sorrow, or any overpowering emotion by shedding tears; shed tears

    cry: to utter inarticulate sounds, esp. of lamentation, grief, or suffering, usually with tears/to weep; shed tears, with or without sound

    So the conclusion is they mean the same (however, cry seems to be a more general term)
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    So the conclusion is they mean the same
    ...except when they don't.
    An onion, sliced and held in front of your face, will make you cry but not weep.
    When you slam your thumb with a hammer you may cry, but you will not weep unless
    you've also broken the brand new hammer.
     

    audiolaik

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Yes, but more often then not they are used interchaneably:)
    Would you agree that weep is form of the act of crying?
    And much depends on the context, of course!
     

    Suehil

    Medemod
    British English
    As Cuchuflete suggested, 'to weep' implies a deeper emotion than 'to cry'. A child might cry when he can't have an ice-cream, his mother will weep when he dies. Both mean to shed tears.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    As another example:

    "He laughed until he cried" means that he laughed so hard that tears sprang from his eyes. He is not unhappy but he is crying.

    "He laughed until he wept" would mean that he experienced a sudden change of emotions, possibly from shock and grief. He could be laughing out of hysteria or shock, followed by weeping as the grief finally overcame him.

    They describe two very, very different sequences of events.
     

    jamesjiao

    Senior Member
    New Zealand English and Mandarin Chinese
    In everyday conversation, people rarely use "weep" and invariably use "cry." Other options are "bawl" or "sob."
    Although people around me and I use 'weep' in our conversations on a regular basis. I've never heard of anyone using the word 'bawl' in a conversation. "sob", sometimes, but not often.
     

    Suehil

    Medemod
    British English
    Although people around me and I use 'weep' in our conversations on a regular basis. I've never heard of anyone using the word 'bawl' in a conversation. "sob", sometimes, but not often.
    And I come across 'bawl' quite often, 'sob' rarely and 'weep' almost exclusively in books.

    Let's face it, in conversation the most common is 'cry' - even when 'weep' would be better.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    I like weep ~ it's a funny(-ha-ha/peculiar) word for an unfunny thing.
    I weep a lot, me, mostly when I'm reading 'English Only' threads.
    Shut up, ewie.
     
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