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noun atroc·i·ty \ə-ˈträ-sə-tē\
: a very cruel or terrible act or action

plural atroc·i·ties

Full Definition of ATROCITY

1 : the quality or state of being atrocious

2 : an atrocious act, object, or situation "the … sufferings and atrocities of trench warfare — Aldous Huxley"

Examples of ATROCITY

<Atrocities were committed by forces on both sides of the conflict.>
<Who could be capable of such atrocity?>

First Known Use of ATROCITY

Related to ATROCITY

atrociousness, horror, awfulness, dreadfulness, frightfulness, ghastliness, grisliness, gruesomeness, hideousness, horridness, monstrosity, repulsiveness

July 10, 1950

Jensen regained a ridge south of Ch'ŏnui - no small achievement - but was unable to advance farther. On the recaptured ground his men discovered a grisly and outrageous sight: six dead American POWs, hands tied behind their backs, each shot in the back of the head. The discovery of this atrocity infuriated Jensen and his men and spurred them to fight with a savagery and purpose theretofore lacking.


September 3, 1950

In the confused fighting in the rear areas there were several cases of North Korean atrocities. One of the worst occurred when a group of company mess parties in jeeps pulling trailers with hot breakfast were following tanks toward the front lines. About a mile and a half from G Company, 35th Infantry, the column came under enemy fire in a defile. The tanks went on through, but most of the other vehicles under Capt. Robert E. Hammerquist, 2nd Battalion S-3, turned back. At least one of the mess parties, however, pressed on after the tanks. Some of this group were captured. One of its members hid in a haystack and later escaped. He told of hearing the torture and murder of one man. He heard agonized screams, recognized the man's voice, and could hear him saying between sobs, "You might as well kill me now." Later when the area was cleared of enemy this man's body was found castrated and the fingers cut off. [24-52]

 Many soldiers of the 25th Division later saw the bodies of Americans lying in a ditch in the 35th Infantry area, their hands tied and their feet cut off. Still others saw dead Americans with their tongues cut out. Members of the N.K. 7th Division apparently perpetrated these atrocities. [24-53]