cruel

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English cruel, borrowed from Old French cruel, from Latin crūdēlis (hard, severe, cruel), akin to crūdus (raw, crude); see crude.

Adjective[edit]

cruel (comparative crueler or crueller or more cruel, superlative cruelest or cruellest or most cruel)

  1. That intentionally causes or revels in pain and suffering; merciless, heartless.
    The supervisor was very cruel to Josh, as he would always give Josh the hardest, most degrading work he could find.
    Synonym: sadistic
    Antonym: merciful
  2. Harsh; severe.
    • Ranulph Fiennes, Cold: Extreme Adventures at the Lowest Temperatures on Earth
      He was physically the toughest of us and wore five layers of polar clothing, but the cold was cruel and wore us down hour after hour.
    • C. S. Lewis, Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia
      You may be sure they watched the cliffs on their left eagerly for any sign of a break or any place where they could climb them; but those cliffs remained cruel.
    Synonym: brutal
  3. (slang) Cool; awesome; neat.
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Adverb[edit]

cruel (not comparable)

  1. (nonstandard) To a great degree; terribly.
    • 2016, Kerry Greenwood, Murder and Mendelssohn, Sydney: Allen and Unwin, page 219:
      'I've never got arthritis, though my old dad had it something cruel.'

Verb[edit]

cruel (third-person singular simple present cruels, present participle cruelling, simple past and past participle cruelled)

  1. (chiefly Australia, New Zealand) To spoil or ruin (one's chance of success)
    • 1937, Vance Palmer, Legend for Sanderson, Sydney: Angus & Robertson, p. 226, [1]
      What cruelled him was that Imperial Hotel contract.
    • 2014, The Sydney Morning Herald, 1 April, 2014, [2]
      He was on the fringes of Test selection last year before a shoulder injury cruelled his chances.
    • 2015, The Age, 8 September, 2015, [3]
      A shortage of berth space for mega container ships will restrict capacity at Melbourne's port, cruelling Labor's attempts to get maximum value from its privatisation, a leading shipping expert has warned.
  2. (Australia, transitive, intransitive) To violently provoke (a child) in the belief that this will make them more assertive.
    • 2007, Stewart Motha, "Reconciliation as Domination" in Scott Veitch (ed.), Law and the Politics of Reconciliation, Routledge, 2016, p. 83, [4]
      Violence is apparently introduced early by the practice of "cruelling": children even in their first months are physically punished and then encouraged to seek retribution by punishing the punisher.
    • 2009, Mark Colvin, ABC, "Peter Sutton discusses the politics of suffering in Aboriginal communities," 2 July, 2009, [5]
      [] I was referring to the area where you were talking about this practice of cruelling; the pinching of babies, sometimes so hard that their skin breaks and may go septic.

Etymology 2[edit]

Noun[edit]

cruel (countable and uncountable, plural cruels)

  1. Alternative form of crewel

Further reading[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Asturian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin crūdēlis.

Adjective[edit]

cruel (epicene, plural crueles)

  1. cruel

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Catalan[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Occitan [Term?], from Latin crūdēlis.

Adjective[edit]

cruel (masculine and feminine plural cruels)

  1. cruel

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Further reading[edit]


French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old French cruel, from Latin crūdēlis; either remade based on the Latin or evolved from the Old French form crual, possibly from a Vulgar Latin form *crūdālis.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

cruel (feminine singular cruelle, masculine plural cruels, feminine plural cruelles)

  1. cruel
  2. hard, painful

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Anagrams[edit]


Galician[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Portuguese [Term?], from Latin crūdēlis.

Adjective[edit]

cruel m, f (plural crueis)

  1. cruel

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Middle English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old French crual, from Latin crūdēlis.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /kriu̯ˈɛːl/, /ˈkriu̯ɛl/, /ˈkriu̯əl/, /ˈkruəl/

Adjective[edit]

cruel

  1. Merciless, cruel; revelling in another's pain.
  2. Deleterious, injurious; conducive to suffering.
  3. Unbearable, saddening, terrifying.
  4. Strict, unforgiving, mean; not nice.
  5. Savage, vicious, dangerous; displaying ferocity.
  6. Bold, valiant, heroic (in war)
  7. (rare) Sharp, acrid, bitter-tasting.

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Descendants[edit]

References[edit]


Portuguese[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Portuguese cruel, from Latin crūdēlis.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

cruel (plural cruéis, comparable)

  1. (of a person or creature) cruel (that intentionally causes or revels in pain and suffering)
    O algoz era conhecido por ser extremamente cruel.
    The executioner was known for being extremely cruel.
    Synonym: bárbaro
  2. (of a situation or occurrence) cruel; harsh; severe
    Ele recebeu uma cruel mas merecida sentença.
    He received a harsh but deserved sentenced.
    Synonyms: severo, terrível, pesado
  3. (of a doubt or question) distressful
    Que dúvida cruel!
    What a horrible doubt!
    Synonym: terrível
  4. (of an occurrence) bloody; violent
    Foi uma batalha cruel.
    It was a bloody battle.
    Synonyms: sangrento, cruento, sanguinolento

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Spanish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Spanish, from Latin crūdēlis.

Adjective[edit]

cruel (plural crueles)

  1. cruel

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