Another question asks for the written sounds of different levels of crying (wah-wah, boo-hoo), but I was wondering if there are names for different levels of crying.

For instance, is there any way to refer to mild crying besides "mild crying'?

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    What research have you done? Jul 4, 2015 at 4:46
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    There’s tearing up, sniffling, crying, sobbing, wailing, shrieking
    – Jim
    Jul 4, 2015 at 4:51
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    @curiousdannii Searching English.se
    – Daniel F
    Jul 4, 2015 at 5:09
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    And apparently testosterone-reducing crying: "The new study places human tears in a family of fluids that includes urine and anogenital gland secretions" washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/06/…
    – TRomano
    Jul 4, 2015 at 11:49
  • @curiousdannii were you the downvote?
    – Daniel F
    Jul 4, 2015 at 11:51

2 Answers 2


Every human has his own ways of expressing pain. Levels of crying vary with sex and age. A man's cry is different from a woman's. Similarly, a toddler's cry differs from an adolescent's. More importantly, however, there are no current studies or research about the different levels of crying. Nevertheless, a blogger made an illustration titled Types of Crying where two factors are considered: Pathetic-ness and Sympathy Elicited.

Whimpering: Soft crying usually including few or no tears at all; Often incorporates muttering and/or high-pitched sighs.

Silent Tears: Soft, inaudible crying that does not draw attention; May manifest only in a single tear rolling down one’s cheek.

Sniveling: Audible, but soft crying, also prone to muttering and erratic breathing; May also show signs of drool or mucus.

Weeping: A gentler version of sobbing; Involves soft, steady stream of tears with some times lightly audible signs of distress.

Sobbing: Heavy crying with a large volume tears flowing steadily; Generally audible but not inappropriately loud.

Hyperventilate-Crying: Forceful crying causing heavy breathing, resulting in the inability to speak or produce sounds even resembling words.

Blubbering: Unattractive, loud crying. Characterized by mutters, truncated, erratic breathing, clinched facial expressions and hunched posture.

Scream-Crying: Violent crying accompanied with bouts of yelling or sometimes shrieking. May also include slapping, punching or other physical expressions of distress.

There is a certain theory about 5 stages of grief formulated by Kubler-Ross-- the Bereavement Theory as well. It may not answer your question but it entails that every human being has the same bereavement process.

  • No problem! Loved the content of your answer :) Jul 4, 2015 at 5:09
  • @Aishwarya A R why did you change their to his in the first sentence (Every human has his own ways of expressing pain). Do you think that only males are human beings? O_O
    – user109460
    Jul 4, 2015 at 9:41
  • Thank you both. That was a very good answer?
    – Daniel F
    Jul 4, 2015 at 9:52
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  • @Amande: The original statement was like so: Every human have their own ways of expressing pain. After changing have to has, I couldn't leave the plural noun their to solve the gender neutrality issue. I really forgot to consider feminist views while editing the answer. My apologies for that. Jul 5, 2015 at 1:50

Don't forget bawling and crocodile tears. Also some of these forms of crying, like sobbing, can cause full body movement, such as making your shoulders to shake.

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