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EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

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

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

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

  1. Not nice; mean; heartless.
    The supervisor was very cruel to Josh, as he would always give Josh the hardest, most degrading work he could find.
  2. (slang) Cool; awesome; neat.

Usage notesEdit

The word has metaphorical uses, for example "The cliffs remained cruel." (i.e. unclimbable when they desperately needed to be climbed) in The Lord of the Rings.

SynonymsEdit

AntonymsEdit

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

VerbEdit

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) 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.

Further readingEdit

AnagramsEdit


AsturianEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Latin crūdēlis.

AdjectiveEdit

cruel (epicene, plural crueles)

  1. cruel

Related termsEdit


CatalanEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Latin crūdēlis.

AdjectiveEdit

cruel (masculine and feminine plural cruels)

  1. cruel

Derived termsEdit


FrenchEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Latin crūdēlis. Compare also the Old French form crual, possibly from a Vulgar Latin form *crūdālis.

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

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

  1. cruel
  2. hard, painful

SynonymsEdit

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit

Further readingEdit

AnagramsEdit


GalicianEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Latin crūdēlis.

AdjectiveEdit

cruel m, f (plural crueis)

  1. cruel

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit


Middle EnglishEdit

AdjectiveEdit

cruel

  1. cruel

PortugueseEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Old Portuguese cruel, from Latin crūdēlis.

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

cruel (plural cruéis, comparable)

  1. cruel

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit


SpanishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Latin crūdēlis.

AdjectiveEdit

cruel (plural crueles)

  1. cruel

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit