Pronunciation: (krOO'ul), [key]
—adj., -er, -est.
1. willfully or knowingly causing pain or distress to others.
2. enjoying the pain or distress of others: the cruel spectators of the gladiatorial contests.
3. causing or marked by great pain or distress: a cruel remark; a cruel affliction.
4. rigid; stern; strict; unrelentingly severe.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.