from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Relaxation of monastic rules, as a dispensation from fasting.
- n. The room in a monastery used by monks who have been granted such a dispensation.
- n. A bracket attached to the underside of a hinged seat in a church stall against which a standing person may lean. Also called miserere.
- n. A narrow dagger used in medieval times to deliver the death stroke to a seriously wounded knight.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. relaxation of monastic rules.
- n. The room in a monastery for monks granted such relaxation.
- n. a subsellium.
- n. a medieval dagger, used for the mercy stroke to a wounded foe.
Middle English, pity, from Old French, from Latin misericordia, from misericors, misericord-, merciful : miserērī, to feel pity; see miserere + cor, cord-, heart; see kerd- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Established 1200–50 from Middle English misericorde (an act of clemency) from Middle French from Latin misericordia (pity). (Wiktionary)