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cruelty

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noun cru·el·ty \ˈkrü(-ə)l-tē\

Simple Definition of cruelty

  • : a desire to cause others to suffer : the quality or state of being cruel

  • : actions that cause suffering

  • : an act or occurrence that causes suffering

Full Definition of cruelty

plural cru·el·ties

  1. 1 :  the quality or state of being cruel

  2. 2 a :  a cruel action b :  inhuman treatment

  3. 3 :  marital conduct held (as in a divorce action) to endanger life or health or to cause mental suffering or fear

Examples of cruelty

  1. a dictator known for his cruelty

  2. The cruelty of children can be surprising.

  3. They protested against cruelty to animals.



Origin of cruelty

Middle English cruelte, from Anglo-French cruelté, from Latin crudelitat-, crudelitas, from crudelis


First Known Use: 13th century



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