Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The condition or quality of being lenient. See Synonyms at mercy.
  • n. A lenient act.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The quality of mercy or forgiveness, especially in the assignment of punishment as in a court case.
  • n. An act of being lenient.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The quality of being lenient; mildness; gentleness; lenity.
  • n. Synonyms Leniency, Lenity, Clemency, Mercy; humanity, tenderness, forbearance. Clemency is exercised only toward offenders, being especially the attribute of those in exalted places having power to remit or lighten penalty. Leniency, as a word, is much more common and expressive than lenity; leniency or lenity may be practised by any one having authority to lighten or remit penalty or to excuse from tasks: as, the leniency of a judge, a parent, or a teacher. Mercy has a twofold use, expressing clemency toward offenders or great kindness toward the distressed; in either sense it is a strong word.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a disposition to yield to the wishes of someone
  • n. lightening a penalty or excusing from a chore by judges or parents or teachers
  • n. mercifulness as a consequence of being lenient or tolerant

Etymologies

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