cruelty

The intentional and malicious infliction of physical or mental suffering upon living creatures, particularly human beings; or, as applied to the latter, the wanton, malicious, and unnecessary infliction of pain upon the body, or the feelings and emotions; abusive treatment; inhumanity; outrage. Chiefly used in the law of divorce, in such phrases as "cruel and abusive treatment," "cruel and barbarous treatment," or "cruel and inhuman treatment" (q.v.). In domestic relations, term includes mental injury as well as physical. Williams v. Williams, 351 Mich. 210, 213, 88 N.W.2d 483, 484.
Generally, single act of cruelty is not sufficient for divorce-there must be course of cruel conduct over period of time, Richardson v. Richardson, 258 S.C. 135, 187 S.E.2d 528.
This ground for divorce is of limited importance with the enactment by most states of no-fault divorce laws.
See also legal cruelty
- mental cruelly
@ cruelty to animals
The infliction of physical pain, suffering, or death upon an animal, when not necessary for purposes of training or discipline or (in the case of death) to procure food or to release the animal from incurable suffering, but done wantonly, for mere sport, for the indulgence of a cruel and vindictive temper, or with reckless indifference to its pain. A person commits a misdemeanor if he purposely or recklessly:
(1) subjects any animal to cruel mistreatment; or
(2) subjects any animal in his custody to cruel neglect; or
(3) kills or injures any animal belonging to another without legal privilege or consent of the owner. Model Penal Code, No. 250.11
@ cruelty to children
Most jurisdictions have "battered child" statutes in which both emotional and physical injuries are embraced in the term "cruelty."
See also child abuse
Legal cruelty.
See legal cruelty
@

Black's law dictionary. . 1990.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • cruelty — cru·el·ty n pl ties 1 a: an intentional or criminally negligent act that causes pain and suffering cruelty to animals cruelty to children b: mistreatment or neglect that causes pain and suffering compare abuse …   Law dictionary

  • Cruelty — Cru el*ty ( t[y^]), n.; pl. {Cruelties} ( t[i^]z). [OF. cruelt[ e], F. cruaut[ e], fr. L. crudelitas, fr. crudelis. See {Cruel}.] [1913 Webster] 1. The attribute or quality of being cruel; a disposition to give unnecessary pain or suffering to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cruelty — early 13c., from O.Fr. crualté (12c., Mod.Fr. cruauté), from L. crudelitatem (nom. crudelitas) cruelty, from crudelis (see CRUEL (Cf. cruel)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • cruelty — [n] brutality, harshness animality, barbarism, barbarity, bestiality, bloodthirstiness, brutishness, callousness, coarseness, coldness, depravity, despotism, ferocity, fiendishness, fierceness, hard heartedness, heartlessness, inhumanity,… …   New thesaurus

  • cruelty — ► NOUN (pl. cruelties) ▪ cruel behaviour or attitudes …   English terms dictionary

  • cruelty — [kro͞o′əltē] n. [ME cruelte < OFr < L crudelitas < CRUEL] 1. the quality or condition of being cruel; inhumanity; hardheartedness 2. pl. cruelties a cruel action, remark, etc. 3. Law willful infliction of physical pain or suffering upon… …   English World dictionary

  • cruelty — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ extreme, great ▪ an act of extreme cruelty ▪ deliberate (esp. BrE) ▪ casual ▪ mental …   Collocations dictionary

  • cruelty — n. 1) to demonstrate, display cruelty 2) consummate, deliberate, wanton cruelty 3) mental cruelty 4) cruelty to, towards (cruelty to animals) * * * [ kruːəltɪ] deliberate displaycruelty wanton cruelty towards (cruelty to animals) …   Combinatory dictionary

  • cruelty — cru|el|ty [ˈkru:əlti] n plural cruelties 1.) [U and C] behaviour or actions that deliberately cause pain to people or animals ≠ ↑kindness ▪ The children had suffered cruelty and neglect. ▪ There was a hint of cruelty in Brian s smile. cruelty to… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • cruelty */ — UK [ˈkruːəltɪ] / US [ˈkruəltɪ] noun Word forms cruelty : singular cruelty plural cruelties 1) [countable/uncountable] behaviour that deliberately causes pain to other people or animals, or that makes them unhappy or upset She was shocked by the… …   English dictionary

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