American English

Definition of cruel adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    , NAmE//krul//
    (crueler, cruelest, ()crueller, cruellest)
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  1. 1cruel (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 someone suffer because it will be good for them later). opposite kind
  2. 2causing pain or suffering a cruel punishment/joke Her father's death was a cruel blow.
adverb The dog had been cruelly treated. I was cruelly deceived.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: cruel

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