noun cru·el·ty \ˈkrü(-ə)l-tē\

: 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

plural cru·el·ties

Full Definition of CRUELTY

:  the quality or state of being cruel
a :  a cruel action
b :  inhuman treatment
:  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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