Definition of cruel adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    cruel

     adjective
    adjective
    BrE BrE//ˈkruːəl//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkruːəl//
     
    (crueller, cruellest)
     
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  1. 1  cruel (to somebody/something) having a desire to cause pain and suffering a cruel dictator I can't stand people who are cruel to animals. Her eyes were cruel and hard. Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind (= make somebody suffer because it will be good for them later). opposite kind
  2. 2  causing pain or suffering a cruel punishment/joke Her father's death was a cruel blow.
  3. Word Origin Middle English: via Old French from Latin crudelis, related to crudus ‘raw, rough’.Extra examples an extremely cruel regime He was known to be a cruel dictator. I can’t stand people who are cruel to animals. Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: cruel

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