Thesaurus

cruel

adjective

Synonyms and Antonyms of cruel

  1. 1 having or showing the desire to inflict severe pain and suffering on others <a cruel dictator who tortured anyone who dared to speak out against him> <cruel and unusual punishments are forbidden by the U.S. Constitution> Synonyms atrocious, barbaric, barbarous, brutal, brute, butcherly, fiendish, heartless, inhuman, inhumane, sadistic, savage, truculent, vicious, wanton Related Words hard-hearted, ironhearted, merciless, pitiless, ruthless, stonyhearted, unfeeling; fell, ferocious, grim; bloodthirsty, cutthroat, murderous, sanguinary, sanguine; catty, despiteful, hateful, malevolent, malicious, malign, malignant, mean, nasty, spiteful, vindictive; draconian, draconic, hardhanded, harsh, heavy-handed, oppressive Phrases red in tooth and claw Near Antonyms tender, warm, warmhearted; charitable, clement, lenient, merciful, pitying; pacific, peaceable, peaceful Antonyms benign, benignant, compassionate, good-hearted, humane, kind, kindhearted, sympathetic, tenderhearted

  2. 2 difficult to endure <the cruel climate of the Arctic> Synonyms bitter, brutal, burdensome, harsh, excruciating, grievous, grim, hard, hardhanded, heavy, inhuman, murderous, onerous, oppressive, rough, rugged, searing, severe, stiff, tough, tryingRelated Words austere, bleak, comfortless, discomforting, forbidding, inhospitable, spartan, uncomfortable; biting, inclement, intemperate, wild; rigorous, strict, stringent; agonizing, heartbreaking, heartrending, painful, wretched; crushing, grinding, overwhelming, wearing; insufferable, insupportable, intolerable, unbearable, unendurable; harrowing, tortuous; bad, disagreeable, hostile, unfriendly, unpleasantNear Antonyms comfortable, cozy, luxurious, snug; agreeable, friendly, genial, hospitable, pleasant; peaceful, relaxing, reposeful, restful; bearable, endurable, painless, tolerable; balmy, calm, clement, gentle, mild, moderate, temperateAntonyms easy, light, soft

  3. 3 hard to accept or bear especially emotionally <the cruel situation of being orphaned at an early age> Synonyms afflicting, agonizing, bitter, excruciating, galling, grievous, harrowing, harsh, heartrending, hurtful, painful, tormenting, torturousRelated Words insufferable, insupportable, intolerable, unacceptable, unbearable, unendurable, unsupportable; appalling, awful, bad, dire, dreadful, ghastly, horrible, miserable, nasty, rotten, severe, terrible, vile, wretched; acute, extreme, intense, piercingNear Antonyms bearable, endurable, supportable, sustainable, tolerable; livable (also liveable), sufferable, survivable; acceptable, allowable, reasonableAntonyms gratifying, pleasing, sweet

  4. 4 having or showing a desire to cause someone pain or suffering for the sheer enjoyment of it <the bully was fond of making cruel little jabs at his victim's sore points> Synonyms bad [slang], bitchy, catty, hateful, despiteful, malevolent, malicious, malign, malignant, mean, nasty, spiteful, vicious, virulentRelated Words devious, scoundrelly, scurvy, snakelike; acrimonious, bitter, envious, jaundiced, jealous, rancorous, resentful, vindictive, vitriolic; contemptuous, deprecating, derogatory, disdainful, disparaging, mean-spirited, obnoxious, opprobrious, scornful, snide, snotty, unkind, unkindly, unloving; baleful, baneful, evil; harsh, hostile, inimical; acrid, caustic, poisonous, scathing, venomousNear Antonyms compassionate, good, good-hearted, kind, kindhearted, kindly, sympathetic, warm, warmhearted; affable, agreeable, amiable, cordial, friendly, genial, gracious, nice, pleasant; affectionate, amorous, sweet, tender, tenderhearted; humane; altruistic, high-minded, humanitarian, magnanimous, noble, philanthropic (also philanthropical)Antonyms benevolent, benign, benignant, loving, unmalicious


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