cruel

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be cruel to be kind

To be blunt and honest with someone in order to help them realize something that may help them. This phrase expresses the idea that it is sometimes necessary to hurt someone's feelings in order to tell them the truth. I'm not going to sit here and tell Judith that she's a shoo-in when she's clearly not ready for her audition. Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.
See also: cruel, kind

goodbye, cruel world

cliché An exclamation, note, or statement made immediately prior to one's death, especially by suicide. We felt as though we never had closure after Tom committed suicide. We never even knew he was contemplating taking his own life, and his note merely said "Goodbye, cruel world." The gunslinger lay on the ground, bleeding into the dust. "Goodbye, cruel world," he gasped with his last breath. And with that, he perished.
See also: cruel, world

you have to be cruel to be kind

You must be blunt and honest with someone in order to help them realize something that may help them; it is sometimes necessary to hurt someone's feelings in order to tell them the truth. I'm not going to sit here and tell Judith that she's a shoo-in when she's clearly not ready for her audition. Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.
See also: cruel, have, kind

you have to be cruel to be kind

When people say you have to be cruel to be kind, they mean that sometimes if you are unkind to someone it will be the best thing for them. `I have to be cruel to be kind,' said Lindsay. `If I don't control his food, he will eat himself to death.'
See also: cruel, have, kind

be cruel to be kind

act towards someone in a way which seems harsh but will ultimately be of benefit.
In Shakespeare 's Hamlet, ‘I must be cruel only to be kind’ was Hamlet's explanation of his reasons for bullying his mother about her second marriage.
See also: cruel, kind

be ˌcruel to be ˈkind

use unpleasant methods because they are necessary to help somebody: I was worried about Katie getting too involved with Steve so I eventually told her about his drug addiction — you’ve got to be cruel to be kind sometimes. OPPOSITE: kill somebody with kindness
See also: cruel, kind
References in periodicals archive ?
IT would be the supreme and cruelest irony were Ryan Giggs to earn a suspension for his angry elbow on a Russian player in Saturday's European Championship qualifier play- off in Moscow.
We know the terms: "self-loathing," "right-wing shill," with the cruelest cut meant to be "conservative."
Both now and in the past, America has supported the cruelest dictatorships, which are responsible for the mass murder and torture of their own people.
Conflict in Sudan is the world's cruelest war, the Dallas Morning News says in a heart-wrenching, 24-page special section that pulls back the political and religious blinds on what the paper calls the world's "Hidden Wars." In addition to Sudan, where 2 million people have died in the deadliest
The cruelest irony of all is that the response to these conditions may be to give more water.
I think the cruelest, most inhuman thing they did to him was to keep him in a cell alone most of the time, and they wouldn't allow him to work like the othher prisoners.
To now question her fitness as a mother is the cruelest of accusations to level at her.
With the gutting of the OFDC, poorly managed cuts at the OAC, and extremely limited access to our own screens, nurturing the next David Cronenberg will be next to impossible in this cruelest of climates.
In a second novel, The Cruelest Month (1963), talented people face personal crises in a Nova Scotia guest house.
Here quack cures are probably the cruelest and the most expensive.
The cruelest contractor of Union Council 24 Iqbal Town Rawalpindi has excavated and dug out the narrow Sajjad Haider Road one month ago he has not repaired it as of now.
STURBRIDGE - Sportswriter John Powers, co-author of the 100th anniversary commemorative book, "Fenway Park: The Coolest, Cruelest and Longest Running Major League Baseball Stadium in America," will speak in the Stephen M.
These powers are brought into full play after the cruelest prank of all is perpetrated on her, as she turns her prom into a bloodbath of nightmarish proportions.
April, apparently, is the cruelest month for student papers: April Fool's Day editions are especially likely to incur the wrath of the sensitivity police.
To indulge, one more time, in the metaphor of war as a kind of living thing, a parasite on human societies: The idea of a war to end war is one of its oldest, and cruelest, tricks.