noun, plural cruelties for 3.
the state or quality of being cruel.
cruel disposition or conduct.
a cruel act.
Law. conduct by a spouse that causes grievous bodily harm or mental suffering.

1175–1225; Middle English cruelte < Anglo-French, Old French < Latin crūdēlitāt- (stem of crūdēlitās). See cruel, -ity

anticruelty, adjective
self-cruelty, noun, plural self-cruelties.

1. harshness, brutality, ruthlessness, barbarity, inhumanity, atrocity.

2, 3. kindness. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
cruelty (ˈkruːəltɪ)
n , pl -ties
1.  deliberate infliction of pain or suffering
2.  the quality or characteristic of being cruel
3.  a cruel action
4.  law conduct that causes danger to life or limb or a threat to bodily or mental health, on proof of which a decree of divorce may be granted

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

early 13c., from O.Fr. crualté, from V.L. *crudalitatem, from L. crudelem (see cruel).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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