Synonyms Examples Word Origin 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. Origin of cruel 1175–1225; Middle English
Anglo-French, Old French
Related forms cru·el·ly, adverb cru·el·ness, noun un·cru·el, adjective un·cru·el·ly, adverb un·cru·el·ness, noun Synonym study 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.
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for uncruel Historical Examples of uncruel British Dictionary definitions for uncruel causing or inflicting pain without pity a cruel teacher causing pain or suffering a cruel accident Derived Forms cruelly, adverb cruelness, noun Word Origin for cruel
C13: from Old French, from Latin
crūdēlis, from crūdus raw, bloody
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Word Origin and History for uncruel adj.
early 13c., from Old French
cruel (12c.), earlier crudel, from Latin crudelis "rude, unfeeling; cruel, hard-hearted," related to crudus "rough, raw, bloody" (see crude). Related: Cruelly.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper