Key Difference – Capricious vs Cruel
Capricious and cruel are two adjectives that are used to describe the nature of people. However, they cannot be used interchangeably since they have very different meanings. Capricious refers to the impulsive or unpredictable nature of a person. Cruel refers to the evil or wicked nature of a person. This is the key difference between capricious and cruel. However, it is also important to note that the usage of these two adjectives is not limited to people, they can be used to describe concepts, objects, and phenomenon as well.
What Does Capricious Mean?
Capricious refers to the unpredictability of a person. The Oxford dictionary defines capricious as “given to sudden and unaccountable changes of mood or behavior” and Merriam-Webster defines it as “governed or characterized by caprice”. A capricious person is a one who is impulsive and unpredictable. He or she would make sudden decisions, sometimes even without a cause or motive. Capricious can be also used to describe the unpredictable nature of weather.
The following sentences will help you to understand the meaning and usage of the adjective capricious.
The whole country suffered under the rule of a capricious leader.
His capricious and whimsical nature made him an unpopular person among colleagues.
The progress of the journey would depend on the capricious winds.
Women are often portrayed in literature as fickle and capricious.
What Does Cruel Mean?
Cruel is an adjective that refers to the disposition to cause pain and suffering. Cruel is defined in the Oxford dictionary as “Wilfully causing pain or suffering to others, or feeling no concern about it”, and in the American Heritage dictionary as “disposed to inflict pain or suffering”. A cruel person is a person who likes to inflict pain and suffering on others; we can also describe a cruel person as a person devoid of human feelings. Cruel can be also used to describe an object or concept that would cause harm, pain or grief to others. For example, a cruel joke is a joke that brings pain and grief to someone. Look at the following sentences to understand how to use this adjective in a sentence.
People who are cruel to animals should not be allowed to keep pets.
How can you be so cruel to your own child?
The winters in Canada are long and cruel.
She ended up marrying her lover’s father in a cruel twist of fate.
Their country was ruled by a cruel tyrant.
What is the difference between Capricious and Cruel?
Capricious: Capricious is defined as “given to sudden and unaccountable changes of mood or behavior”.
Cruel: Cruel is defined as “Wilfully causing pain or suffering to others, or feeling no concern about it”.
Capricious: This adjective can be used to describe a person who is impulsive and unpredictable.
Cruel: This adjective can be used to describe someone who enjoys causing pain, harm and suffering to others.
Type of Person:
Capricious: A capricious person is not necessarily wicked or evil.
Cruel: A cruel person is evil and wicked.
“1904 Russian Tsar-Stop your cruel oppression of the Jews-LOC hh0145s” By Emil Flohri – from United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia