Dictionary.com

cruel

[ kroo-uhl ]
/ ˈkru əl /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: cruel / cruelly / cruelness on Thesaurus.com

adjective, cru·el·er, cru·el·est.
willfully or knowingly causing pain or distress to others.
enjoying the pain or distress of others: the cruel spectators of the gladiatorial contests.
causing or marked by great pain or distress: a cruel remark; a cruel affliction.
rigid; stern; strict; unrelentingly severe.
QUIZ
FIRE UP YOUR VOCAB FOR A "RED" SYNONYMS QUIZ
No fire engine reds here, only a fierce collection of vibrant words for the color red to test yourself on.
Question 1 of 7
What does "amaranth" mean?
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of cruel

1175–1225; Middle English <Anglo-French, Old French <Latin crūdēlis, equivalent to crūd(us) (see crude) + -ēlis adj. suffix

synonym study for cruel

1. Cruel, pitiless, ruthless, brutal, savage imply readiness to cause pain to others. Cruel implies willingness to cause pain, and indifference to suffering: a cruel stepfather. Pitiless adds the idea of refusal to show compassion: pitiless to captives. Ruthless implies cruelty and unscrupulousness, letting nothing stand in one's way: ruthless greed. Brutal implies cruelty that takes the form of physical violence: a brutal master. Savage suggests fierceness and brutality: savage battles.

OTHER WORDS FROM cruel

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use cruel in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for cruel

cruel
/ (ˈkruːəl) /

adjective
causing or inflicting pain without pitya cruel teacher
causing pain or sufferinga cruel accident

Derived forms of cruel

cruelly, adverbcruelness, noun

Word Origin for cruel

C13: from Old French, from Latin crūdēlis, from crūdus raw, bloody
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
FEEDBACK