Definition of cruel
1 : disposed to inflict pain or suffering : devoid of humane feelings a cruel tyrant has a cruel heart
2a : causing or conducive to injury, grief, or pain a cruel joke a cruel twist of fateb : unrelieved by leniency cruel punishment
cruellyplay \ˈkrü-(ə-)lē\ adverb
Examples of cruel in a Sentence
a cruel twist of fate
Hunger is a cruel fact of nature.
Recent Examples of cruel from the Web
This is beyond discriminating against communities of color and low-income students; this is cruel.
Victor Aenlle with the San Mateo County Mounted Patrol, which puts on the rodeo, says there's nothing cruel involved.
Mackenzie says that Ryan’s doing great and then Dr. Drew forces us to watch a clip show of Ryan nodding off, even though that seems inordinately cruel.
The airline now realizes that such a reduction in size would be cruel, heartless, verging on the sadistic.
These radicals are mean in two senses of that word: both stingy and cruel.
In fact, the Senate legislation, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, is a cruel joke on Americans.
But alas, on Saturday, joggers in the area noticed that the pikken has become the victim of some cruel prudish prank: the penis rock is no more and officials expect foul play.
The Malaysia Airlines tragedy was one of the cruelest and most wrenching in aviation history, with 239 people lost and a long international search that has failed to pinpoint clues or causes.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cruel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Synonym Discussion of cruel
CRUEL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of cruel for English Language Learners
—used to describe people who hurt others and do not feel sorry about it
: causing or helping to cause suffering : terrible and unfair
CRUEL Defined for Kids
Definition of cruel for Students
1 : wanting to cause others to suffer a cruel ruler
2 : causing or helping to cause suffering cruel punishment a cruel joke
Seen and Heard
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