cry havoc

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English, from the Anglo-Norman phrase crier havok (cry havoc) (a signal to soldiers to seize plunder), from Old French crier (cry out, shout) + havot (pillaging, looting).

VerbEdit

cry havoc (third-person singular simple present cries havoc, present participle crying havoc, simple past and past participle cried havoc)

  1. (obsolete) To shout out 'Havoc!'; that is, to give an army the order to plunder.
    • 1599, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Iulius Cæsar”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, (please specify the act number in uppercase Roman numerals, and the scene number in lowercase Roman numerals):
      Cry 'Havoc,' and let slip the dogs of war
    • c. 1608–1609 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Coriolanus”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, (please specify the act number in uppercase Roman numerals, and the scene number in lowercase Roman numerals):
      Do not cry havoc, where you should but hunt
    • 1961 Aug, George Steiner, “Homer and the Scholars”, in The Atlantic Monthly, page 77:
      War and mortality cry havoc, yet the center holds. That center is the affirmation that actions of body and heroic spirit are in themselves a thing of beauty, that renown shall outweigh the passing terrors of death, and that no catastrophe, not even the fall of Troy, is final.