- 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
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Related Wordssavagery, torture, inhumanity, malice, barbarity, persecution, barbarism, bestiality, rancor, despotism, sadism, wickedness, severity, spite, animality, fierceness, venom, depravity, ferocity, insensibility
Examples from the Web for cruelty
Another American officer, Capt. Edwin Glenn, was convicted of cruelty in a non-fatal turn-of-the-century case in the Philippines.The Luxury Homes That Torture and Your Tax Dollars Built
December 12, 2014
So, in the midst of all this chaos and cruelty to one another, what difference does having faith make?Hope When the World’s Gone Off the Rails
July 27, 2014
He also had a reputation for cruelty in a particularly cruel conflict.Afghan Taliban Say they Won Big with Bergdahl Swap
June 2, 2014
But here's the thing: despite all its darkness and cruelty, the show ultimately doesn't tolerate c--ts.Game of Thrones’ ‘The Lion and the Rose’: Joffrey’s Demented, Shocking Royal Wedding
April 14, 2014
Later she would boast crudely that he was ‘big where it mattered’, but there was also a streak of cruelty in his lovemaking.Tallulah Bankhead: Gay, Drunk and Liberated in an Era of Excess Art
January 25, 2014
The scene of Turkish cruelty was now transferred to the isle of Crete.The Grand Old Man
Richard B. Cook
Only, the cruelty must be whitewashed by a moral excuse, and a pretence of reluctance.A Treatise on Parents and Children
George Bernard Shaw
The tender women, and helpless children, fell victims to their cruelty.The Adventures of Colonel Daniel Boone
There was nothing of the Warden's estimate in these eyes; nothing of cruelty nor deceit nor greed.The Underdog
F. Hopkinson Smith
Now, after all I have suffered, you have the cruelty to tell me so?Tales And Novels, Volume 5 (of 10)
- 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
Word Origin and History for cruelty
early 13c., from Old French crualté (12c., Modern French cruauté), from Latin crudelitatem (nominative crudelitas) "cruelty," from crudelis (see cruel).