As a ground for divorce, the intentional and malicious infliction of physical or psychological abuse by a married person upon his or her spouse that endangers or severely impairs the spouse’s life or physical or mental well-being or creates a reasonable apprehension in the spouse’s mind of physical or mental harm. The extent of abuse that a spouse is expected to tolerate varies state to state, but a single act of cruelty is normally not enough to constitute grounds for divorce. See also abuse.
Other Word Forms of Cruelty
Origin of Cruelty
From Old French crualté (French cruauté).
Find Similar Words
Find similar words to cruelty using the buttons below.