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Denotation vs. Connotation

cruelty

[kroo-uh l-tee] /ˈkru əl ti/
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 of cruelty
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English cruelte < Anglo-French, Old French < Latin crūdēlitāt- (stem of crūdēlitās). See cruel, -ity
Related forms
anticruelty, adjective
self-cruelty, noun, plural self-cruelties.
Synonyms
1. harshness, brutality, ruthlessness, barbarity, inhumanity, atrocity.
Antonyms
2, 3. kindness.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for cruelty
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Such tales of cruelty and savagery were told of them as to be almost incredible.

  • The scene of Turkish cruelty was now transferred to the isle of Crete.

    The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
  • What cruelty is this for thee to mispryse the greatest humility that man can Imagin?

    The Palace of Pleasure William Painter
  • Only, the cruelty must be whitewashed by a moral excuse, and a pretence of reluctance.

  • Our cruelty is a little less apparent, and more respectable.

    Great Ralegh Hugh De Selincourt
British Dictionary definitions for cruelty

cruelty

/ˈkruːəltɪ/
noun (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 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cruelty
n.

early 13c., from Old French crualté (12c., Modern French cruauté), from Latin crudelitatem (nominative crudelitas) "cruelty," from crudelis (see cruel).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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