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To be cruel or unkind to someone - thesaurus

Synonyms

abuse

verb

to treat someone in a cruel or violent way

mistreat

verb

to treat someone in an unfair or cruel way

oppress

verb

to treat people who are less powerful in an unfair and cruel way

trample

verb

to behave in a cruel or unfair way towards someone or something

reject

verb

to behave in an unkind way to someone who wants kindness or love from you

hit out

to say or do something in order to cause someone emotional pain

grind down

to treat someone in a cruel way over a long period and gradually destroy their confidence or strength

shove around

to treat someone badly and in an unfair way, especially by giving them orders

kick around

to treat someone in an unkind and unfair way

do someone wrong

to treat someone in an unfair or cruel way

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More synonyms

abandon

verb

to leave someone when you should stay with them and look after them

alienate

verb

to make someone feel that they do not belong in a place or group

batter

verb

to make someone or something suffer or seem weak

be cruel to be kind

to say or do something to someone that seems unkind but is intended to help them

be/go gunning for someone

to try to hurt someone or damage their reputation

betray

verb

if you betray your country, or if you betray someone who needs your support, you deliberately do something that harms them or helps their opponents

brutalise

a British spelling of brutalize

brutalize

verb

to make someone lose their ability to experience normal feelings, by treating them in a cruel and violent way

brutalize

verb

to do very cruel and painful things to someone

chip

verb

Australian to say things to someone that are intended to embarrass, annoy or upset them

cut someone to the bone/heart/quick

to say or do something unkind that makes someone feel very upset

dehumanize

verb

to make people stop feeling and behaving like normal people, especially by treating them very badly

do a number on

to deliberately do something that has a negative effect on someone or something

do the dirty on someone

to treat someone very badly and unfairly

do to

to treat someone in a way that harms them

draw blood

to do something that makes someone suffer or makes them upset

dump

verb

informal to leave someone in the care of someone else because it is convenient for you, although it may not be for them

fuck around

offensive an extremely offensive expression that means to waste someone else’s time or treat them in a bad way

fuck over

offensive an extremely offensive expression that means to treat someone in a bad or unfair way

get personal

to start being deliberately unkind or insulting

get your claws into someone

Britishinformal to deliberately say cruel or unpleasant things to someone

give someone a hard time

to be unpleasant to someone, or to criticize them a lot

give someone hell

to be very angry with someone or treat them severely

give someone the runaround

to deliberately behave in a way that is not helpful

hit with

to make someone do something or experience something that is unpleasant

ill-treat

verb

formal to treat a person or animal in a cruel or unkind way

insult someone’s intelligence

to treat someone as if they are stupid

jack around

to treat someone badly because you are not clear or honest with them

laugh at someone behind their back

to say unkind things about someone or something that are intended to make them seem silly

laugh at someone behind their back

to say unkind things about someone when they are not there

make someone feel unwelcome

to make someone feel that you are not pleased to see them

maltreat

verb

to be violent or cruel to a person or animal

mess about

to treat someone badly, especially by changing your mind or by not doing what you promised

neglect

verb

to fail to give someone enough love, attention, or support

objectify

verb

to treat someone like an object

play fast and loose with

to treat someone or something in a careless way

put/stick two fingers up at someone

to do something rude as a way of showing you do not care what someone thinks

put through

to make someone do or experience something difficult or unpleasant

rain on someone’s parade

to do something to stop someone enjoying something good that is happening to them

spite

verb

to deliberately upset someone or cause them problems

stab someone in the back

to do something bad that is not loyal to someone who trusts you

stamp on

to stop someone in a very unfair or cruel way from doing something

step on

to treat someone badly, especially because they have less power or importance than you

subject to

to make someone experience something unpleasant

taunt

verb

to shout cruel things at someone in order to make them angry or upset

torment

verb

to make someone suffer severe physical or mental pain, often deliberately

torture

verb

to hurt a person or animal deliberately in a very cruel way, especially as a punishment or in order to make them say something

treat someone like shit

to treat someone very badly

tyrannise

a British spelling of tyrannize

tyrannize

verb

to use your power to treat people in a cruel and unfair way

visit on

to make something very unpleasant happen to someone

BuzzWord

gaslight

to manipulate someone psychologically so that they begin to question their own perceptions and memories

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

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