Are you a legal professional? Visit our professional site

Search for legal issues
For help near (city, ZIP code or county)
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location

FindLaw Legal Dictionary

The FindLaw Legal Dictionary -- free access to over 8260 definitions of legal terms. Search for a definition or browse our legal glossaries.


cruelty n

pl: -ties
1 a : an intentional or criminally negligent act that causes pain and suffering [ to animals] [ to children]
b : mistreatment or neglect that causes pain and suffering compare abuse NOTE: Cruelty is an aggravating circumstance to a crime (as murder).
2 : a spouse's conduct that endangers life or health or causes mental suffering or fear called also cruel and inhuman treatment NOTE: Cruelty is a ground for divorce.

Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.

Find a Lawyer

More Options