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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

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of cruelty

plural

cruelties

  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 in a sentence

  1. a dictator known for his cruelty

  2. The cruelty of children can be surprising.

  3. They protested against cruelty to animals.



Origin and Etymology of cruelty

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


First Known Use: 13th century


CRUELTY Defined for Kids

cruelty

play
noun cru·el·ty \ˈkrü-əl-tē\

Definition of cruelty for Students

plural

cruelties

  1. 1 :  the quality or state of causing or wanting to cause suffering <a man of cruelty>

  2. 2 :  treatment that causes suffering




Law Dictionary

cruelty

noun cru·el·ty

Legal Definition of cruelty

plural

cruelties

  1. 1a :  an intentional or criminally negligent act that causes pain and suffering <cruelty to animals> <cruelty to children> b :  mistreatment or neglect that causes pain and suffering — compare abuse Editor's note: Cruelty is an aggravating circumstance to a crime (as murder).

  2. 2 :  a spouse's conduct that endangers life or health or causes mental suffering or fear —called also cruel and inhuman treatment



Additional Notes on cruelty

Cruelty is a ground for divorce.



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