Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The quality or condition of being cruel.
  • noun Something, such as a cruel act or remark, that causes pain or suffering.
  • noun Law The intentional infliction of physical or mental distress, especially when considered as a basis for granting a divorce.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The quality of being cruel; the disposition to inflict suffering, physical or mental; indifference to or pleasure in the pain or distress of others; inhumanity.
  • noun A cruel act; a barbarous deed; specifically, in law, an act inflicting severe pain and done with wilfulness and malice.
  • noun . Harshness or strength of physical impression; strength as of a smell.
  • noun Synonyms Inhumanity, barbarity, savageness, ferocity, brutality.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The attribute or quality of being cruel; a disposition to give unnecessary pain or suffering to others; inhumanity; barbarity.
  • noun A cruel and barbarous deed; inhuman treatment; the act of willfully causing unnecessary pain.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun uncountable an indifference to suffering or positive pleasure in inflicting suffering.
  • noun countable a cruel act

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a cruel act; a deliberate infliction of pain and suffering
  • noun feelings of extreme heartlessness
  • noun the quality of being cruel and causing tension or annoyance

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • It's the lives ruined through blunders -- it's the cruelty -- the needless _cruelty_ of it all. "

    The Visioning

  • Before posting I asked several readers if I was going overboard with the word "cruelty."

    Nicholas Carroll: Occupy Wall Street and the Scent of Revolution

  • This cruelty is a dead give-away of who these people really are.

    Pelosi gets emotional about political climate

  • Before posting I asked several readers if I was going overboard with the word "cruelty."

    Nicholas Carroll: Occupy Wall Street and the Scent of Revolution

  • I never used the word cruelty, Ginor returned, saying that even the most idyllic farm would be a four or five because at the end of the day the ducks, the animals are being killed for food, manipulated in some way by being put here and put there and moved around.

    The Foie Gras Wars

  • I never used the word cruelty, Ginor returned, saying that even the most idyllic farm would be a four or five because at the end of the day the ducks, the animals are being killed for food, manipulated in some way by being put here and put there and moved around.

    The Foie Gras Wars

  • But just within the first 10 days, they have found evidence of what they call the cruelty of the Iraqi regime.

    CNN Transcript Mar 28, 2003

  • A 71-year-old Californian who immolated himself to protest what he called cruelty in the United States and India was cremated Saturday according to Hindu rituals, his friends said.

    The Seattle Times

  • US admirer of Gandhi cremated in India A 71-year-old Californian who immolated himself to protest what he called cruelty in the United States and India was cremated Saturday according to Hindu rituals, his friends said.

    The Seattle Times

  • Gandhi and a retired mining engineer, set himself on fire to protest what he called cruelty in the United States and India.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

Comments

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  • Terror made me cruel . . .

    -Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights

    July 26, 2009