ruthless

play
adjective ruth·less \ˈrüth-ləs also ˈru̇th-\

Definition of ruthless

  1. :  having no pity :  merciless, cruel a ruthless tyrant

ruthlessly

adverb

ruthlessness

noun

ruthless was our Word of the Day on 04/07/2016. Hear the podcast!

Examples of ruthless in a Sentence

  1. The journalist was ruthless in his criticism.

  2. an office supervisor with a ruthless disregard for others' feelings

Recent Examples of ruthless from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ruthless'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

What's the Difference Between ruthless and ruthful

Ruthless can be defined as "without ruth" or "having no ruth." So what, then, is ruth? The noun ruth, which is now considerably less common than ruthless, means "compassion for the misery of another," "sorrow for one's own faults," or "remorse." And, just as it is possible for one to be without ruth, it is also possible to be full of ruth. The antonym of ruthless is ruthful, meaning "full of ruth" or "tender." Ruthful can also mean "full of sorrow" or "causing sorrow." Ruth can be traced back to the Middle English noun ruthe, itself from ruen, meaning "to rue" or "to feel regret, remorse, or sorrow."

First Known Use of ruthless

14th century


RUTHLESS Defined for English Language Learners

ruthless

play
adjective

Definition of ruthless for English Language Learners

  • : having no pity : cruel or merciless


RUTHLESS Defined for Kids

ruthless

play
adjective ruth·less \ˈrüth-ləs\

Definition of ruthless for Students

  1. :  having no pity :  cruel

ruthlessly

adverb

ruthlessness

noun


Seen and Heard

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