- The definition of cruel is someone or something that deliberately causes pain or suffering.
An example of cruel is Hurricane Katrina.
cruel definition by Webster's New World
- deliberately seeking to inflict pain and suffering; enjoying others' suffering; without mercy or pity
- causing, or of a kind to cause, pain, distress, etc.
Origin: Old French ; from Classical Latin crudelis ; from crudus: see crude
cruel definition by American Heritage Dictionary
adjective cru·el·er or cru·el·ler, cru·el·est or cru·el·lest
- Disposed to inflict pain or suffering.
- Causing suffering; painful.
Origin: Middle English, from Old French, from Latin crūdēlis; see kreuə- in Indo-European roots.
- cruˈel·ly adverb
- cruˈel·ness noun