Top 47 Slang For Cruel – Meaning & Usage

In a world where language is constantly evolving, it’s no surprise that there are slang terms for every emotion and action. Cruelty is no exception. From playful banter to downright mean-spirited insults, we’ve compiled a list of the top slang words and phrases for cruel. Whether you’re looking to expand your vocabulary or simply curious about the latest slang trends, this listicle is sure to captivate and educate. Get ready to delve into the dark side of language and discover the cutting-edge slang for cruel.

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1. Savage

This term is used to describe someone or something that is extremely cruel and shows no mercy. It can also be used to describe an action or behavior that is ruthless and aggressive.

  • For example, “He made a savage comment that hurt her feelings.”
  • In a discussion about a violent video game, someone might say, “The gameplay is so savage, it’s intense.”
  • A person might describe a difficult workout as “savage” to convey its intensity.

2. Ruthless

This word is used to describe someone who is cruel and shows no mercy or compassion towards others. It can also be used to describe actions or behaviors that are harsh and unforgiving.

  • For instance, “He is known for his ruthless business tactics.”
  • In a discussion about a competitive sport, someone might say, “The team played a ruthless game and dominated their opponents.”
  • A person might describe a dictator as “ruthless” to convey their lack of empathy.

3. Heartless

This term is used to describe someone who is cold and lacks empathy or compassion towards others. It can also be used to describe actions or behaviors that are cruel and unfeeling.

  • For example, “She broke up with him in a heartless way, without any consideration for his feelings.”
  • In a discussion about a character in a book, someone might say, “The villain is portrayed as heartless and without remorse.”
  • A person might describe a decision made by a government as “heartless” if it negatively impacts vulnerable populations.

4. Sadistic

This word is used to describe someone who enjoys inflicting pain or suffering on others. It can also be used to describe actions or behaviors that involve extreme cruelty or brutality.

  • For instance, “He has a sadistic streak and takes pleasure in seeing others suffer.”
  • In a discussion about a horror movie, someone might say, “The killer’s sadistic acts were truly disturbing.”
  • A person might describe a torturer as “sadistic” to convey their enjoyment of causing pain.

5. Brutal

This term is used to describe something that is extremely harsh or cruel in nature. It can also be used to describe actions or behaviors that involve extreme violence or aggression.

  • For example, “The victim suffered brutal injuries in the attack.”
  • In a discussion about a war, someone might say, “The battle was brutal, with heavy casualties on both sides.”
  • A person might describe a punishment as “brutal” if it is excessively harsh or cruel.

6. Vicious

This word describes someone or something that is extremely cruel or brutal in their actions or behavior. It implies a lack of mercy or kindness.

  • For example, “The dog attacked with a viciousness that was terrifying.”
  • In a discussion about a violent crime, someone might say, “The attack was vicious and unprovoked.”
  • A person describing a competitive game might say, “The players showed a vicious determination to win.”

7. Inhumane

This term refers to actions or behavior that is lacking in compassion or kindness towards others. It suggests a disregard for basic human dignity or rights.

  • For instance, a person might say, “The treatment of prisoners in that facility was inhumane.”
  • In a debate about animal rights, someone might argue, “Using animals for entertainment is inherently inhumane.”
  • A news article might describe a war crime as “an act of brutal and inhumane violence.”

8. Merciless

This word describes someone who shows no mercy or compassion. It suggests a relentless pursuit of their goals without regard for the well-being of others.

  • For example, in a story about a villain, a character might say, “He was known for his merciless pursuit of power.”
  • In a discussion about a difficult boss, someone might say, “She was a ruthless leader who would stop at nothing to achieve success.”
  • A person describing a challenging competition might say, “The race was merciless, with no room for error.”

9. Barbaric

This term refers to actions or behavior that is considered uncivilized or primitive. It suggests a lack of refinement or cultural progress.

  • For instance, a person might say, “The practice of public executions is barbaric.”
  • In a discussion about a harsh punishment, someone might argue, “The death penalty is a barbaric act that has no place in modern society.”
  • A news article might describe a violent act as “a barbaric display of aggression.”

10. Malicious

This word describes someone who intentionally causes harm or suffering to others. It suggests a desire to inflict pain or distress.

  • For example, in a story about a bully, a character might say, “He was known for his malicious behavior towards his classmates.”
  • In a discussion about online harassment, someone might say, “Posting malicious comments is a form of cyberbullying.”
  • A person describing a harmful rumor might say, “Spreading malicious gossip can ruin someone’s reputation.”

11. Fiendish

This word describes something that is extremely cruel or wicked, often with a sense of enjoyment or pleasure in causing harm.

  • For example, “He came up with a fiendish plan to ruin her reputation.”
  • In a horror movie, a character might be described as having a fiendish smile.
  • A person discussing a villainous character in a book might say, “The antagonist’s fiendish actions kept me on the edge of my seat.”

12. Oppressive

This term refers to something that is excessively cruel or harsh, often exerting control or authority in a way that suppresses freedom or causes suffering.

  • For instance, “The oppressive regime ruled with an iron fist.”
  • In a discussion about political systems, one might say, “An oppressive government stifles dissent and limits individual rights.”
  • A person sharing their personal experience might say, “Growing up under an oppressive household was incredibly difficult.”

13. Atrocious

This word describes something that is extremely cruel, brutal, or horrifying, often causing great shock or disgust.

  • For example, “The conditions in the prison were absolutely atrocious.”
  • In a news report about a crime, a journalist might describe the act as atrocious.
  • A person expressing their outrage might say, “The way they treated those animals was truly atrocious.”

14. Harsh

This term refers to something that is cruel or unkind, often causing pain or distress without mercy or leniency.

  • For instance, “The judge handed down a harsh sentence.”
  • In a conversation about discipline, one might say, “Sometimes a harsh punishment is necessary to teach a lesson.”
  • A person describing a difficult experience might say, “The winter weather in that region can be incredibly harsh.”

15. Malevolent

This word describes someone or something that is intentionally cruel or harmful, often with a desire to cause suffering or distress.

  • For example, “He had a malevolent grin on his face as he plotted his revenge.”
  • In a discussion about characters in a book, one might say, “The antagonist is a truly malevolent presence.”
  • A person warning others about a dangerous individual might say, “Beware of his malevolent intentions.”

16. Pitiless

This term describes someone who lacks compassion or mercy, showing no sympathy or concern for others. It implies a complete disregard for the suffering or feelings of others.

  • For example, a person might say, “He was pitiless in his treatment of the homeless.”
  • In a discussion about a cruel dictator, one might comment, “His pitiless regime caused immense suffering.”
  • A character in a novel might be described as “a pitiless villain who stops at nothing to achieve their goals.”
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17. Malignant

This word refers to someone or something that has a strong desire to harm others or cause suffering. It suggests an intentional and deliberate cruelty, often associated with evil or malicious intent.

  • For instance, a person might say, “She has a malignant personality, always seeking to hurt those around her.”
  • In a horror movie review, one might mention, “The antagonist’s malignant actions create a sense of dread and suspense.”
  • A writer might describe a character as “a malignant force that brings destruction wherever they go.”

18. Spiteful

This term describes someone who takes pleasure in causing harm or distress to others, often as a way of getting revenge or settling a grudge. It implies a deliberate and calculated cruelty driven by a desire to hurt others.

  • For example, a person might say, “She left a spiteful comment on my post just to hurt me.”
  • In a discussion about toxic relationships, one might mention, “He was constantly making spiteful remarks to undermine her.”
  • A character in a novel might be described as “a spiteful ex-partner who seeks to ruin the protagonist’s life.”

19. Nasty

This word describes someone who behaves in a cruel, unkind, or unpleasant manner. It suggests a general meanness and lack of consideration for others’ feelings.

  • For instance, a person might say, “He made a nasty comment about her appearance.”
  • In a conversation about workplace dynamics, one might mention, “Some employees engage in nasty behavior to undermine their colleagues.”
  • A character in a TV show might be described as “a nasty antagonist who is always causing trouble for the main characters.”

20. Mean

This term refers to someone who is deliberately unkind or hurtful to others. It suggests a lack of empathy and a willingness to cause pain or suffering.

  • For example, a person might say, “She can be really mean, always mocking others.”
  • In a discussion about bullying, one might mention, “The mean kids at school made life miserable for their classmates.”
  • A writer might describe a character as “a mean-spirited individual who takes pleasure in others’ misfortune.”

21. Ironhearted

Someone who is ironhearted lacks empathy or sympathy towards others. They are cold-hearted and often show no remorse for their actions.

  • For example, “He showed his ironhearted nature by refusing to help the homeless man.”
  • In a discussion about a heartless character in a book, someone might say, “The protagonist’s ironhearted actions shocked the readers.”
  • A person describing a cruel boss might say, “He’s known for his ironhearted management style.”

22. Stonyhearted

Someone who is stonyhearted is emotionally detached and shows little or no emotion. They are often described as having a heart of stone.

  • For instance, “She remained stonyhearted in the face of tragedy.”
  • A person discussing a character in a movie might say, “The actor’s portrayal of a stonyhearted villain was chilling.”
  • In a conversation about a difficult breakup, someone might say, “He broke my heart and left me feeling stonyhearted.”

23. Despiteful

Someone who is despiteful takes pleasure in causing harm or distress to others. They act out of spite and often have ill intentions.

  • For example, “She left a despiteful comment on his social media post.”
  • In a discussion about toxic relationships, someone might say, “Her despiteful behavior towards her partner was emotionally abusive.”
  • A person describing a spiteful coworker might say, “He’s known for his despiteful actions, such as taking credit for others’ work.”

24. Catty

Catty refers to someone who engages in gossip, backstabbing, or petty behavior. They often make snide or cutting remarks about others.

  • For instance, “The girls in the clique were known for their catty remarks.”
  • A person discussing a reality TV show might say, “The contestants often engage in catty behavior, stirring up drama.”
  • In a conversation about workplace dynamics, someone might say, “There’s a lot of catty behavior among the employees, which creates a toxic environment.”

25. Ferocious

While not exclusively used to describe cruelty, ferocious can imply a level of brutality or aggression. It refers to someone or something that is extremely intense, violent, or powerful.

  • For example, “The ferocious lion pounced on its prey.”
  • In a discussion about a competitive sports match, someone might say, “Both teams played with a ferocious determination.”
  • A person describing a violent storm might say, “The wind and rain were ferocious, causing widespread damage.”

26. Butcherly

This term is used to describe someone or something that is excessively violent or cruel, often in a gruesome or bloody manner.

  • For example, “The serial killer’s actions were described as butcherly.”
  • In a discussion about war atrocities, one might say, “The soldiers committed acts of butcherly violence.”
  • A person describing a horror movie might comment, “The film is filled with scenes of butcherly carnage.”

27. Wanton

This term refers to someone who acts without regard for the consequences of their actions, often causing harm or suffering to others.

  • For instance, “The dictator ruled with a wanton disregard for human rights.”
  • In a discussion about animal cruelty, one might say, “The poacher’s actions were wanton and unnecessary.”
  • A person describing a bullying incident might comment, “The bully’s behavior was wanton and malicious.”

28. Unfeeling

This term describes someone who is indifferent or cold-hearted, showing no sympathy or understanding towards others.

  • For example, “The boss’s unfeeling response to the employee’s personal issue was disheartening.”
  • In a discussion about a heartless crime, one might say, “The thief showed an unfeeling disregard for the victim.”
  • A person describing a character in a novel might comment, “The antagonist is portrayed as an unfeeling villain.”

29. Grim

This term is used to describe something that is dark, gloomy, or depressing, often evoking a sense of cruelty or harshness.

  • For instance, “The prisoner’s living conditions were grim and inhumane.”
  • In a discussion about a tragic event, one might say, “The aftermath of the disaster was a grim scene.”
  • A person describing a dystopian novel might comment, “The author paints a grim future where cruelty is the norm.”

30. Bloodthirsty

This term describes someone or something that has an intense desire for violence or cruelty, often involving the shedding of blood.

  • For example, “The dictator’s bloodthirsty regime was responsible for countless deaths.”
  • In a discussion about a ruthless killer, one might say, “The serial killer had a bloodthirsty urge to hunt and murder.”
  • A person describing a horror movie might comment, “The film’s antagonist is a bloodthirsty monster.”

31. Cold-blooded

This term refers to someone who is cruel or lacks empathy. It suggests that the person acts without emotion or remorse.

  • For example, “He showed his cold-blooded nature by betraying his closest friend.”
  • In a discussion about criminals, someone might say, “The killer’s cold-blooded actions shocked the community.”
  • A person describing a heartless act might say, “She left the homeless man out in the cold, showing her cold-bloodedness.”

32. Wicked

This slang term is used to describe someone or something that is extremely cruel or malicious. It implies a high level of malevolence or wickedness.

  • For instance, “He’s a wicked person who takes pleasure in causing others pain.”
  • In a conversation about villains, someone might say, “The wicked queen in the fairy tale was truly terrifying.”
  • A person describing a cruel act might say, “That was a wicked thing to do to someone.”

33. Unkind

This term describes someone who is intentionally cruel or hurtful. It suggests a lack of compassion or empathy towards others.

  • For example, “She made unkind remarks about her friend’s appearance.”
  • In a discussion about bullying, someone might say, “The unkind behavior of the students caused lasting emotional damage.”
  • A person describing a hurtful comment might say, “His unkind words left her feeling devastated.”

34. Horrible

This slang term describes something or someone that is extremely cruel or brutal. It implies a high level of savagery or violence.

  • For instance, “The horrible dictator ruled with a vicious iron fist.”
  • In a conversation about animal cruelty, someone might say, “The treatment of those animals was absolutely horrible.”
  • A person describing a violent act might say, “The gang members carried out a series of horrible, vicious attacks.”

35. Monstrous

This term is used to describe something or someone that is extremely cruel, brutal, or inhumane. It implies a high level of monstrous behavior or actions.

  • For example, “The monstrous dictator committed unspeakable acts of violence.”
  • In a discussion about war crimes, someone might say, “The soldiers’ monstrous actions shocked the world.”
  • A person describing a heinous act might say, “The killer’s monstrous behavior left a trail of destruction.”

36. Gruesome

This word describes something that is extremely shocking, horrifying, or repulsive in a violent or graphic way. It often refers to scenes of violence or brutality.

  • For example, “The horror movie had some truly gruesome scenes that made me cover my eyes.”
  • In a discussion about crime, someone might say, “The details of the murder were too gruesome to comprehend.”
  • A person describing a graphic accident might say, “The injuries were so gruesome, I couldn’t look away.”

37. Mercenary

This term refers to someone who is motivated by money and is willing to do anything, regardless of ethics or morals, in exchange for payment.

  • For instance, “He’s a mercenary who will work for anyone as long as the price is right.”
  • In a discussion about war, someone might say, “Mercenaries were often hired to fight in battles throughout history.”
  • A person describing a corrupt politician might say, “He’s a political mercenary, only interested in personal gain.”

38. Relentless

This word describes someone or something that is persistent, determined, and does not give up easily. It often implies a lack of mercy or compassion.

  • For example, “The detective was relentless in his pursuit of the criminal.”
  • In a discussion about a difficult challenge, someone might say, “She faced relentless obstacles but never gave up.”
  • A person describing a harsh boss might say, “He’s relentless in his demands and expects perfection.”

39. Harrowing

This term describes something that is extremely distressing, traumatic, or emotionally disturbing. It often refers to experiences or situations that cause great suffering or pain.

  • For instance, “The survivor shared her harrowing story of escaping the burning building.”
  • In a discussion about a tragic event, someone might say, “The harrowing details of the accident left everyone in shock.”
  • A person describing a terrifying movie might say, “It was a harrowing film that left me on the edge of my seat.”

40. Draconian

This word describes something that is excessively harsh, strict, or severe in its rules, laws, or punishments. It often refers to measures or policies that are seen as unfair or unjust.

  • For example, “The government’s new regulations are draconian and limit personal freedoms.”
  • In a discussion about a strict school, someone might say, “The dress code at that school is draconian and doesn’t allow any individuality.”
  • A person describing a punishment might say, “The judge handed down a draconian sentence that far exceeded the crime.”

41. Sinister

This term is often used to describe something or someone that is wicked, dark, or ominous.

  • For example, “The movie villain had a sinister smile that sent chills down the audience’s spines.”
  • A person might say, “There’s something sinister about that old abandoned house.”
  • In a suspenseful novel, the author might describe a character’s sinister motives.
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42. Depraved

This word is used to describe someone or something that is extremely immoral, corrupt, or perverted.

  • For instance, “The serial killer’s depraved actions shocked the nation.”
  • A person might say, “His depraved behavior showed a complete lack of empathy.”
  • In a discussion about criminal behavior, someone might mention the depraved acts committed by certain individuals.

43. Diabolical

This term is often used to describe something or someone that is devilish, evil, or fiendish.

  • For example, “The diabolical plan involved deceiving innocent people for personal gain.”
  • A person might say, “The diabolical mastermind behind the scheme was finally caught.”
  • In a horror movie, the antagonist might be a diabolical creature or entity.

44. Maleficent

This word is used to describe something or someone that is deliberately harmful, malicious, or causing harm.

  • For instance, “The maleficent witch cast a curse on the kingdom.”
  • A person might say, “Her maleficent actions resulted in the destruction of many lives.”
  • In a fantasy novel, the author might describe a maleficent sorcerer who seeks to bring chaos and destruction.

45. Horrific

This term is used to describe something that is extremely shocking, terrifying, or causing intense fear or disgust.

  • For example, “The accident scene was horrific, with blood and wreckage everywhere.”
  • A person might say, “The movie depicted some truly horrific scenes of violence.”
  • In a discussion about a traumatic event, someone might describe the horrific details of what occurred.

46. Devilish

This term describes someone or something that is wicked or mischievous in a playful or light-hearted way. It suggests a sense of mischief or naughtiness rather than true cruelty.

  • For example, a person might say, “That devilish smile of hers always gets her out of trouble.”
  • In a playful argument, someone might jokingly accuse another person of being devilish, saying, “You devilish creature, you always know how to push my buttons.”
  • A mischievous prank or trick might be described as devilish, such as, “He played a devilish prank on his friends by filling their shoes with jelly.”

47. Unrelenting

This term refers to someone or something that is relentless or unforgiving in their actions or behavior. It implies a lack of mercy or compassion, making it a fitting term to describe cruelty.

  • For instance, a character in a novel might be described as unrelenting in their pursuit of revenge.
  • In a discussion about a harsh punishment, someone might argue, “The judge’s sentence was unrelenting and lacked any consideration for the defendant’s circumstances.”
  • A person might describe a difficult boss as unrelenting, saying, “She’s unrelenting in her demands and shows no empathy for her employees.”