Cruel

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Cruel'

Cruel Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    cruel adj
  1. lacking or showing kindness or compassion or mercy [syn: unkind]
  2. (of persons or their actions) able or disposed to inflict pain or suffering; "a barbarous crime"; "brutal beatings"; "cruel tortures"; "Stalin's roughshod treatment of the kulaks"; "a savage slap"; "vicious kicks" [syn: barbarous, brutal, fell, roughshod, savage, vicious]
  3. (of weapons or instruments) causing suffering and pain; "brutal instruments of torture"; "cruel weapons of war" [syn: brutal]
  4. used of circumstances (especially weather) that cause suffering; "brutal weather"; "northern winters can be cruel"; "a cruel world"; "a harsh climate"; "a rigorous climate"; "unkind winters" [syn: brutal, harsh, rigorous, unkind]
Cruel Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Cruel \Cru"el\ (kr[udd]"[e^]l), a. [F. cruel, fr. L. crudelis, fr. crudus. See Crude.]
  1. Disposed to give pain to others; willing or pleased to hurt, torment, or afflict; destitute of sympathetic kindness and pity; savage; inhuman; hard-hearted; merciless. Behold a people cometh from the north country; . . . they are cruel and have no mercy. --Jer. vi. 22,23.
  2. Causing, or fitted to cause, pain, grief, or misery. Cruel wars, wasting the earth. --Milton. Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath for it was cruel. --Gen. xlix. 7.
  3. Attended with cruetly; painful; harsh. You have seen cruel proof of this man's strength. --Shak.
Cruel Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Cruel \Cru"el\ (kr[udd]"[e^]l), n. See Crewel.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Cruel'


Cruelty can be described as indifference to suffering, and even positive pleasure in inflicting it. If this is supported by a legal or social framework, then receives the name of perversion. Sadism can also be related to this form of action or concept.

Cruel ways of inflicting suffering may involve violence, but affirmative violence is not necessary for an act to be cruel. For example, if a person is drowning and begging for help, and another person is able to help, but merely watches with disinterest or perhaps mischievous amusement, that person is being cruel — rather than violent.

The term cruelty is often used in law and criminology with regard to the treatment of animals, children, spouses, and prisoners. When cruelty to animals is discussed, it often refers to unnecessary suffering. In criminal law, it refers to punishment, torture, victimization, draconian measures, and cruel and unusual punishment. In divorce cases, many jurisdictions permit a cause of action for cruel and inhumane treatment.

[See more about Cruel at Dictionary 3.0 Encyclopedia]

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'Cruel' in famous quotation sentence


* There was that law of life, so cruel and so just, that one must grow or else pay more for remaining the same. - Norman Mailer

* Hence it is clear how much more cruel the pen is than the sword. - Robert Burton

* Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man. - Thomas Paine


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