Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “be cruel to be kind”

See all translations

be cruel to be kind

to do or say something that causes someone pain because you believe that it will help them
Translations of “be cruel to be kind”
in Chinese (Traditional) 雖讓人痛苦卻有所助益, 忠言逆耳, 苦口良藥…
in Chinese (Simplified) 虽让人痛苦却有所帮助, 忠言逆耳, 良药苦口…
(Definition of be cruel to be kind from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Word of the Day

bad/hard/tough luck

said to express sympathy with someone when something bad has happened to them

Word of the Day

Think long and hard; the language of decisions

by Liz Walter,
January 28, 2015
One of the best ways (perhaps the best way) to improve your English is to learn how words go together in phrases, idioms, or other patterns such as verb/noun or adjective/noun pairs (often called ‘collocations’). This blog looks at some useful phrases and collocations connected with the subject of decisions, something we

Read More 

micro pig noun

January 26, 2015
an extremely small pig, bred to be a pet Micro pigs have become popular pets recently, with famous owners including Victoria Beckham, Paris Hilton and Olympic diver, Tom Daley.

Read More