6 Good Words To Describe A Crying Sound (Cry Onomatopoeia)

Sometimes, you might want to describe a crying sound that someone makes rather than use a word that’s similar to “crying.” In this case, we use cry onomatopoeia, and in this article, we’ll explore some of the best options for it.

Which Words Best Describe A Crying Sound?

There are many words that are used to describe a crying sound. Some of the best include “boohoo,” “blubber,” “sob sob,” and “waah.” Most of these are known as onomatopoeia, which is a word created from the sound it makes.

In this article, we’ll look at the following words:

  • Boohoo
  • Blubber
  • Sob sob
  • Waah
  • Bawl
  • Sniff Sniff
Which Words Best Describe A Crying Sound?


We’ll start with the most common choice and one of the better forms of cry onomatopoeia out there. “Boohoo” is a very popular choice when you want to describe the sound of someone crying, so let’s look further into it.

The word “boohoo” can be defined, and it’s included in The Cambridge Dictionary to mean “the sound of noisy crying like a child’s.” This is a good way of seeing what we mean about onomatopoeia.

The definition of the word “boohoo” includes that it is a replication of a sound. That means that it’s common for young children to physically make a noise like “boohoo” when they’re crying – which is incidentally the entire origin of the word.

You may also see the word written as “boo hoo” to separate the two sounds even further by including a space.

  • Boohoo! If you want to cry about it, go for it!
  • Oh, boohoo! It must suck to have all this money!
  • Boohoo! I can’t believe you’re sulking about this.
  • Boohoo! She left me!

As you can see from the examples of it being used, “boohoo” (and most crying onomatopoeia words) are mostly used sarcastically to insult someone. You might also see someone use it when they want to address a sad situation that’s happened to them.

It’s worth noting that someone doesn’t have to be physically crying to reply “boohoo” to them. Even if they’re simply moaning about something that they don’t like, “boohoo” might be a good choice. Either way, it’s seen as rude, so be careful!


Next, we’ll look at “blubber” as a word you can use that means someone is crying. While not strictly an onomatopoeia word like “boohoo,” it still resembles a sound that people make when they’re crying.

According to The Cambridge Dictionary, “blubber” can be defined as “to cry in a noisy way like a child.”

The “noisy” part of the definition is what we want to pay attention to when we’re talking about it as an onomatopoeic word. It works well because you can almost hear someone “blubber” when they’re crying, especially a child you believe to be inconsolable.

Let’s go through some examples when you might be able to use the word “blubber.” Before we do, though, it’s important to know that “blubber” is also considered a verb, meaning it has varying forms.

  • Oh, quit your blubbing! It’s not that bad!
  • Stop blubbering like a buffoon and help me!
  • Keep your blubbing to yourself and get over it.
  • You’re a blubbering mess!

As you can see, it’s common to use “blubber” in the verb form to say that someone is “blubbing” or “blubbering.” Generally, when we simply say “blubber,” we’re talking about it in the present tense.

It’s also worth noting that “blubber” can also mean “fat,” so be careful who you use it on as they might take it the wrong way if you don’t use the correct verb form!

Sob Sob

“Sob sob” is a great example of cry onomatopoeia that covers another sound that people make when they cry. This one doesn’t have to relate as much to the noise children make either, as adults are capable of “sobbing” too.

The definition of “sob,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “to cry noisily, taking in deep breaths.” It’s the noise that most people make when they’re crying. When we add a second “sob,” it turns into onomatopoeia to describe the sound of it.

One “sob” on its own is used as a verb. However, the phrase “sob sob” is used as a repetitive form of cry onomatopoeia, which we can use again to make a sarcastic comment about someone either complaining or crying about something menial or trivial.

  • Oh, sob sob. Get over it and move on!
  • Sob sob! You couldn’t cry anymore if you tried!
  • Sob sob to you! Your life must be so hard to deal with!
  • Stop with all your sob sobs! We don’t want to hear it!

As you can see, generally, we use “sob sob” or other forms of onomatopoeia when we’re trying to insult someone. We want to take away from the gravity of the thing that’s upset them by using a rude word to inform them that they’re ridiculous.

Usually, we want to say “there are worse things that could happen” as a way to remind them that whatever is upsetting them isn’t the end of the world.


“Waah” is a very common word that people use to talk about the sound someone makes when crying. It can also be spelled in varying ways based on who is using it.

“Waah” is the only word on this list that doesn’t have a dictionary listing. It works well because it copies the noise people make when they’re crying. It can be spelled many ways, like “waah,” “waa,” “wah wah,” “wah-wah,” “waaaa,” and “wah.”

It’s up to you how many “A” letters you include in the word, as well as whether you want the “H” at the end. The spelling doesn’t directly impact the meaning; however, it’s widely accepted that the more “A”s you use, the more you’re trying to insult the person you’re talking to.

  • Wah wah! You can’t stop crying about it, can you?
  • Oh, waaah! Get over yourself!
  • Waah! You want to talk about your little problems some more?
  • Waa! I can’t believe this happened!

As you can see, we’re still using this to insult people, and it’s typically a rude thing to do. However, in the final example, you can see someone using the word to address their own situation.

It’s possible to use any of these words to show someone that you’re sad about something happening. Generally, we’ll write words like this in text messages over anything else.


Next, let’s look at “bawl.” This is another verb in the list but also works as a way to show the sound someone makes when they’re crying.

The definition of “bawl,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “to cry or shout loudly.” We use it when we want to say that someone is upset about something and wants their feelings heard.

Generally, this one isn’t as insulting as some of the others on the list. It can simply be used to describe the action of someone crying.

  • He’s bawling in the corner over there.
  • I can’t stop bawling over the recent news!
  • You’ve been bawling for thirty-five minutes!
  • Will you please stop bawling your eyes out?

Because it’s a verb, we can use it in varying forms. In this case, we’re using the present participle “bawling,” as it’s the most common form you’ll come across.

Sniff Sniff

The final word we want to go over is using “sniff sniff” as cry onomatopoeia. We can use this to talk about a quieter cry, mostly where someone is sniffing about something. Generally, the news isn’t as devastating, but it can still be sad.

According to The Cambridge Dictionary, “sniff” means “to take air in quickly through your nose, usually to stop the liquid inside the nose from flowing out.” We typically “sniff” to stop our noses from running while we cry.

We’ll include a few examples of when you might see “sniff sniff” in a sentence to help you understand its usage.

  • Sniff sniff, I don’t suppose you heard the news?
  • Sniff sniff! You need to stop crying.
  • Oh, sniff sniff! Pull yourself together.,
  • Sniff sniff, have you heard?

As you can see, we might insult someone when we say it, but we might also be drawing attention to something fairly sad. Usually, “sniff sniff” isn’t used in the more devastating scenarios, but in places where we’re only kind of sad.

What Is The Best Way To Describe A Baby Crying Sound In Words?

Finally, we’ll quickly cover what the best way to describe a baby crying might be. We’ve already covered a few of the best sounds for it.

“Boohoo” and “blubber” are the best ways to describe a baby crying. Both of their definitions talk about the noise a child makes, which closely relates to how babies sound when they cry. “Boohoo” is the best cry onomatopoeia for it, while “blubber” is the best verb.

It’s up to you which one you want to use in what case. Generally, if you use “boohoo” to talk about a baby, it might not be received well, if you say the following:

  • Boohoo! The baby’s crying.

This example can come across as rude or insensitive if you’re not careful with who you say it to!