Definition of cruelty in English:

cruelty

noun

mass noun
  • 1Cruel behaviour or attitudes.

    ‘he has treated her with extreme cruelty’
    ‘we can't stand cruelty to animals’
    count noun ‘the cruelties of forced assimilation and genocide’
    • ‘There can be no neutrality between justice and cruelty, between the innocent and the guilty.’
    • ‘The whole point of this storyline is that he has reduced her to a gibbering wreck through emotional and verbal cruelty without any physical violence.’
    • ‘I hope the resulting media coverage will help to foster a greater awareness of the cruelty involved.’
    • ‘I felt like a Roman emperor, looking down on my subject wondering whether to show mercy or cruelty.’
    • ‘But this temptation is dangerous because history contains too much cruelty at the hands of the pious.’
    • ‘Officials acting on our behalf committed unspeakable cruelty on a man already wrongly imprisoned for 17 years.’
    • ‘If women resisted sexual advances, they risked physical cruelty and punishment.’
    • ‘We suffered cruelty and abandonment even as we continued to teach the world about a loving God.’
    • ‘What matters most is that prohibitions against human cruelty be hard and binding.’
    • ‘I shall not treat either of you with undue cruelty, but neither do I have any intention of pardoning your deeds.’
    • ‘They emphasise, instead, the degree of cruelty inflicted by men on women.’
    • ‘The cruelty perpetrated on the family must cease immediately.’
    • ‘Why were children treated with such cruelty, both physical and emotional?’
    • ‘A prince may be ruthless when it is prudent, but wanton cruelty is foolish.’
    • ‘Why did people behave as they did - whether with cruelty or kindness, cravenness or courage?’
    • ‘Is the response to the extreme cruelty of tyrants the defining moment of the human condition?’
    • ‘Maybe it was because of casual human cruelty.’
    • ‘The casual, unthinking cruelty of children is brilliantly evoked here.’
    • ‘The fact that credible scientists found there was not excess suffering or cruelty involved was ignored.’
    • ‘Mistakes I can forgive, but deliberate intent to harm or random acts of cruelty, I find repulsive.’
    brutality, savagery, savageness, inhumanity, barbarism, barbarousness, brutishness, bloodthirstiness, murderousness, viciousness, ferocity, ferociousness, fierceness
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Law Behaviour which causes physical or mental harm to another, especially a spouse, whether intentionally or not.
      ‘she divorced my stepfather for persistent cruelty’
      • ‘Charges of dangerous driving and child cruelty were withdrawn by the prosecution.’
      • ‘He pleaded not guilty to cruelty and claimed he had entrusted the puppies to a man called Phil.’
      • ‘The jury was told that he had been convicted of grievous bodily harm and child cruelty against a girl in Essex in April 1998.’
      • ‘In 1948, Wyman sued for divorce, charging extreme mental cruelty.’
      • ‘Her evidence was led in support of three so called specimen counts of rape, six of indecent assault and one of cruelty.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French crualte, based on Latin crudelitas, from crudelis (see cruel).

Pronunciation

cruelty

/ˈkrʊəlti/