adjective le·nient \ˈlē-nē-ənt, -nyənt\

: allowing a lot of freedom and not punishing bad behavior in a strong way : not harsh, severe, or strict

Full Definition of LENIENT

:  exerting a soothing or easing influence :  relieving pain or stress
:  of mild and tolerant disposition; especially :  indulgent
le·nient·ly adverb

Examples of LENIENT

  1. a teacher who is lenient with students who have misbehaved
  2. Many people felt that the punishment was too lenient.
  3. By giving one more person—the executive—the power to reduce (but not to increase) punishments, our constitutions (both Federal and state) seem to be sending an important message: that in a world in which errors are inevitable, it is better to err on the side of overly lenient, rather than overly harsh, punishment. —Alan M. Dershowitz, New York Times Book Review, 16 July 1989

Origin of LENIENT

Latin lenient-, leniens, present participle of lenire to soften, soothe, from lenis soft, mild; probably akin to Lithuanian lėnas tranquil — more at let
First Known Use: 1652
LENIENTLY Defined for Kids


adjective le·nient \ˈlē-nē-ənt, ˈlēn-yənt\

Definition of LENIENT for Kids

:  being kind and patient :  not strict <a lenient teacher>
le·nient·ly adverb


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