[ kroo-uhl-tee ]
/ ˈkru əl ti /

noun, plural cru·el·ties for 3.

the state or quality of being cruel.
cruel disposition or conduct.
a cruel act.
Law. conduct by a spouse that causes grievous bodily harm or mental suffering.

Origin of cruelty

1175–1225; Middle English cruelte < Anglo-French, Old French < Latin crūdēlitāt- (stem of crūdēlitās). See cruel, -ity


an·ti·cru·el·ty, adjectiveself-cru·el·ty, noun, plural self·-cru·el·ties. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cruelty

British Dictionary definitions for cruelty

/ (ˈkruːəltɪ) /

noun plural -ties

deliberate infliction of pain or suffering
the quality or characteristic of being cruel
a cruel action
law conduct that causes danger to life or limb or a threat to bodily or mental health, on proof of which a decree of divorce may be granted
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