cruelty

[kroo-uhl-tee]
noun, plural cruelties for 3.
1.
the state or quality of being cruel.
2.
cruel disposition or conduct.
3.
a cruel act.
4.
Law. conduct by a spouse that causes grievous bodily harm or mental suffering.

Origin:
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.
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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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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

cruelty
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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Example sentences
Think of the amount of brutality, the cruelty and the lies allowed to spread
  over the civilized world.
Humans should be ashamed of their cruelty and greed.
Animals will be in pain when humans inflict cruelty on them.
It explains the general sense of xenophobia and cruelty of white people even.
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