Simple Definition of cruel
—used to describe people who hurt others and do not feel sorry about it
: causing or helping to cause suffering : terrible and unfair
Full Definition of cruel
cru·el·er or cru·el·lercru·el·est or cru·el·lest
1 : disposed to inflict pain or suffering : devoid of humane feelings <a cruel tyrant>
2 a : causing or conducive to injury, grief, or pain <a cruel joke> b : unrelieved by leniency <cruel punishment>
Examples of cruel
a cruel twist of fate
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
Synonym Discussion of cruel
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