Idiom | A Far Cry

Idiom | A Far Cry

Idiom | A Far Cry

The idiom ‘a far cry’ means something that is different from what is expected, something that is notably different, or a long distance.  

The literal meaning, regarding to distance, comes from the phrase within cry of, which has been in use since the 1600s and means to be “close enough to be heard.”

A far cry’ came along in the mid-1800’s, meaning “too far away to be heard,” or a figuratively long distance.

A short time later the figurative use came along. Around the mid-1800s it started popping up in literary works of the time.

A far cryは、想像していたものと違う、雲泥の差、遠い距離にあるものを意味します。

「距離」についての意味は、1600年代より”close enough to be heard” (聞こえる範囲で)という意味で使われている”within cry of”というフレーズからきています。

A far cryは1800年代半ばごろより、声が届かないほど遠い、もしくは比喩的に長距離についてあらわす言葉として登場しました。


Idiom Usage: A Far Cry 使い方

English Stripped Bare - B. Bearington & Naomi - A Far Cry Idioms
A Dog Cries on a Paved Mountain Trail (G. McGregor/

This idiom is a noun and will always be used as part of a larger sentence. In most cases, attach the verb ‘be’ before the idiom. 

Note that you must use the article ‘a.’ You should never omit it.

❌ It’s far cry from what I need.

✔️ It’s a far cry from what I need.

You can use this idiom to talk about a positive or negative situation.

It is mostly always used in the positive form.

This idiom is appropriate in both casual and formal situations.




【誤】It’s far cry from what I need.

【正】It’s a far cry from what I need.





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Examples 例文

English Stripped Bare - B. Bearington & Naomi - A Far Cry Idioms
Vaccine Injection at Hospital (

We need 240 million vaccines and currently we only have about 2 million. This is a far cry from what we need.


The house they live in now is a far cry from the tiny apartment they had in the city.


The airport is a far cry from the hotel so you better get a taxi.


After the earthquake everyone had to sleep in the community center. It was a far cry from the privacy of their homes.


The local festival in the small mountain town was lavish and had a lot of food vendors and street performers, a far cry from what I expected.


The food is a far cry from the way it looked on the menu photos.


Use mnemonic! ニーモニックテクニック

English Stripped Bare - B. Bearington & Naomi - Idiom A Far Cry
A Dirt Road in Poor Condition (

This idiom is a little tricky to use mnemonics with. Imagine you had a flight booked across some rough terrain, but the flight was canceled. Instead you had to take a bumpy and long bus ride that made you cry the whole way. It was a far (as in long distance) cry.

Of course, we always encourage you to create your own mnemonic device. It’s much more effect if you do that.

Check out our post on mnemonics basics to learn more.






Keep Studying

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English Stripped Bare Culture Page (G. McGregor/

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Ready Steady Travel Homepage (G. McGregor/

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