adj. cru·el·er, cru·el·est or cru·el·ler or cru·el·lest
1. Disposed to inflict pain or suffering: a cruel tyrant.
2. Causing or characterized by severe pain, suffering, or distress: cruel treatment; a cruel remark.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin crūdēlis; see kreuə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.