adjective cru·el \ˈkrü(-ə)l\

—used to describe people who hurt others and do not feel sorry about it

: causing or helping to cause suffering : terrible and unfair

cru·el·er or cru·el·lercru·el·est or cru·el·lest

Full Definition of CRUEL

:  disposed to inflict pain or suffering :  devoid of humane feelings <a cruel tyrant>
a :  causing or conducive to injury, grief, or pain <a cruel joke>
b :  unrelieved by leniency <cruel punishment>
cru·el·ly \ˈkrü-(ə-)lē\ adverb
cru·el·ness noun

Examples of CRUEL

  1. a cruel twist of fate
  2. Hunger is a cruel fact of nature.

Origin of CRUEL

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin crudelis, from crudus
First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with CRUEL


Next Word in the Dictionary: cruel and unusual punishmentPrevious Word in the Dictionary: crudoAll Words Near: cruel
May 24, 2015
erudite Hear it
learned or pedantic
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears