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From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Cru·el·ty n.; pl. Cruelties
 1. The attribute or quality of being cruel; a disposition to give unnecessary pain or suffering to others; inhumanity; barbarity.
    Pierced through the heart with your stern cruelty.   --Shak.
 2. A cruel and barbarous deed; inhuman treatment; the act of willfully causing unnecessary pain.
    Cruelties worthy of the dungeons of the Inquisition.