Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “cruel”

See all translations

cruel

adjective uk   /ˈkruː.əl/ /krʊəl/ (crueller, cruellest or crueler, cruelest) us  
B1 extremely unkind and unpleasant and causing pain to people or animals intentionally: Don't tease him about his weight - it's cruel. Children can be very cruel to each other. causing suffering: His death was a cruel blow.
More examples
cruelly
adverb uk   /-i/ us  
B2 in a cruel way
Translations of “cruel”
in Korean 잔인한…
in Arabic وَحْشي…
in French cruel (envers), cruel…
in Turkish vicdansız, acımasız, zalim…
in Italian crudele…
in Chinese (Traditional) 殘忍的, 殘酷的, 刻毒傷人的…
in Russian жестокий…
in Polish okrutny…
in Spanish cruel…
in Portuguese cruel…
in German grausam, unbarmherzig…
in Catalan cruel…
in Japanese 無慈悲な…
in Chinese (Simplified) 残忍的, 残酷的, 刻毒伤人的…
(Definition of cruel from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of cruel?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “cruel” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

comma

the symbol , used in writing to separate parts of a sentence showing a slight pause, or to separate the single things in a list

Word of the Day

Lies, lies, lies!

by Kate Woodford,
February 25, 2015
​​​ According to sociologists (=people who study the relationships between people living in groups), we are good at lying. As a species, we have developed a remarkable ability to deceive each other (= persuade each other that something false is true). Being able to say things that are not true can help with

Read More 

showrooming noun

February 23, 2015
the activity of examining a product in a physical store and then making the purchase with an online retailer Amazon’s new smartphone is specifically designed to make showrooming fast and easy.

Read More