from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Compassionate treatment, especially of those under one's power; clemency.
- n. A disposition to be kind and forgiving: a heart full of mercy.
- n. Something for which to be thankful; a blessing: It was a mercy that no one was hurt.
- n. Alleviation of distress; relief: Taking in the refugees was an act of mercy.
- idiom at the mercy of Without any protection against; helpless before: drifting in an open boat, at the mercy of the elements.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. relenting; forbearance to cause or allow harm to another
- n. forgiveness or compassion, especially toward those less fortunate.
- n. A tendency toward forgiveness, pity, or compassion
- n. Instances of forbearance or forgiveness.
- n. A blessing, something to be thankful for.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Forbearance to inflict harm under circumstances of provocation, when one has the power to inflict it; compassionate treatment of an offender or adversary; clemency.
- n. Compassionate treatment of the unfortunate and helpless; sometimes, favor, beneficence.
- n. Disposition to exercise compassion or favor; pity; compassion; willingness to spare or to help.
- n. A blessing regarded as a manifestation of compassion or favor.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Pitying forbearance or forgiveness; compassionate leniency toward enemies or wrongdoers; the disposition to treat offenders kindly or tenderly; the exercise of clemency in favor of an offender.
- n. An act or exercise of forbearance, good will, or favor; also, a kindness undeserved or unexpected; a fortunate or providential circumstance; a blessing: as, it is a mercy that they escaped.
- n. Pity; compassion; benevolence: as, awork of mercy.
- n. Discretionary action; unrestrained exercise of the will and the power to punish and to spare: as, to be at one's mercy (that is, wholly in one's power).
- n. To proclaim a tax.
- n. Synonyms Clemency, etc. See leniency.
- To thank.
- To fine; amerce.
- n. In criminal law, partial remission of a punishment to which a convict is subject, as distinguished from pardon, or total remission.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a disposition to be kind and forgiving
- n. the feeling that motivates compassion
- n. something for which to be thankful
- n. alleviation of distress; showing great kindness toward the distressed
- n. leniency and compassion shown toward offenders by a person or agency charged with administering justice
-- It may not be in every one's power to shew mercy; but every man may, and every good man does _love mercy_.
Again, my heart pleaded for justice and mercy; for _justice_ to all; and for _mercy_ to the needy and helpless.
Providence in mercy permits the union of families long to remain unbroken; and, at length, in _mercy_ too -- whatever the suggestions of despondency -- dissolves it.
-- At the beginning of the torture he said, "My lords, not knowing that I shall escape this torture with my life, therefore, I beseech you to remember what Solomon saith, _He who sheweth no mercy, shall have judgment without mercy_, &c.
III. v.55 (336,9) by mercy, 'tis most just] [By _mercy_ is meant
"There are many virtues which cannot be practised in solitude; above all, mercy, upon the exercise of which we shall be questioned and judged at the last day; and of which it is said: _Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy_." [
In a sense the justice secretary was using the term mercy in a very narrow sense.
I hope, I yearn to see that it all comes from some great and perfect will, a will with qualities of which what we know as mercy, justice, and love are but faint shadows -- but that is hidden from me.
Not that their mercy is the ground of their acquittal, but the mercy of God in Christ towards them, producing mercy on their part towards their fellow men, makes them to triumph over judgment, which all in themselves otherwise deserve.
"That through your mercy they might obtain mercy, that is, that they may be beholden to you, as you have been to them."