‘Crying need’ – English idiom with meaning and examples

by Jakub Marian

Tip: See my list of the Most Common Mistakes in English. It will teach you how to avoid mis­takes with com­mas, pre­pos­i­tions, ir­reg­u­lar verbs, and much more.

Crying need is an informal expression for a desperate or a very strong need for something (or someone). For example:

There’s a crying need for skilled craftsmen in most developed countries, as most people are not willing to work manually anymore.

It can well be used sarcastically; the following example is taken from Sherlock: The Empty Hearse:

Sherlock: I’ve written a blog on the varying tensile strengths of different natural fibres.
Mrs. Hudson (with a teapot in her hand): I’m sure there’s a crying need for that.

By the way, if you haven’t read my guide on how to avoid the most common mistakes in English, make sure to check it out; it deals with similar topics.