|Origin:||Latin crudelis, from crudus; CRUDE1|
making someone suffer or feel unhappy:
His death was a cruel blow.
Sometimes life seems unbearably cruel.
deliberately hurting people or animals [≠ kind]:
The prisoner was a hard, cruel man.
cruel jokes about mothers-in-law
It was a cruel, tactless thing to say.
She was often cruel to her sister.
to do something to someone that will make them upset or unhappy in order to help them in another way
—cruelly adverb:WORD FOCUS: unkind
He was cruelly neglected by his parents.
similar words: nasty, cruel, mean, inconsiderate, thoughtless, insensitive, unsympathetic, hard-hearted
➔ See also unkind