: having no pity : merciless, cruel
Did You Know?
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."
The country was ruled by a ruthless dictator who could inflict punishment at will on any person who defied his orders.
"While Wyatt's business tactics were said to be ruthless, they sure were smart." — James Reginato, Vanity Fair, February 2016
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
Unscramble the letters to create a synonym of ruthless: IAPGNNSRU.VIEW THE ANSWER
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