cry wolf

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To raise a false alarm; to constantly warn others about an imagined threat, thereby failing to get assistance when a real threat appears.

Etymology:

  • From the fable The Boy Who Cried Wolf, where a little boy amuses himself by crying "wolf" to see the panic he causes in the community, but consequently does not get help when a real wolf appears.
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The politicians would cry wolf at the slightest provocation so when the real threat appeared no one believed them.

Submitted on September 01, 2009

Additional definitions for 'cry wolf':

Cry WolfTo send out a wrong signal of any threat or impending danger, a false alarm
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"cry wolf." Phrases.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 27 Jan. 2020. <https://www.phrases.com/phrase/cry-wolf_3100>.

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