noun (plural cruelties)[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 genocideMore example sentences
brutality, savagery, savageness, inhumanity, barbarism, barbarousness, brutishness, bloodthirstiness, murderousness, viciousness, ferocity, ferociousness, fierceness; callousness, sadism, ruthlessness, relentlessness, mercilessness, pitilessness, remorselessness, lack of regard, lack of sympathy, lack of charity, heartlessness, cold-heartedness, cold-bloodedness, severity, harshness, inclemency; wickedness, badness, baseness, iniquity, blackness, black-heartedness, evil, fiendishness, devilishness, heinousness, nastiness, unkindness, abuse• rare ferity
- The casual, unthinking cruelty of children is brilliantly evoked here.
- Maybe it was because of casual human cruelty.
- A prince may be ruthless when it is prudent, but wanton cruelty is foolish.
- 1.1 Law Behaviour which causes physical or mental harm to another, especially a spouse, whether intentionally or not: she divorced my stepfather for persistent crueltyMore example sentences
- The jury was told that he had been convicted of grievous bodily harm and child cruelty against a girl in Essex in April 1998.
- Her evidence was led in support of three so called specimen counts of rape, six of indecent assault and one of cruelty.
- He pleaded not guilty to cruelty and claimed he had entrusted the puppies to a man called Phil.
Middle English: from Old French crualte, based on Latin crudelitas, from crudelis (see cruel).