clemency

noun
clem·​en·​cy | \ˈkle-mən(t)-sē \
plural clemencies

Definition of clemency 

1a : disposition to be merciful and especially to moderate the severity of punishment due The judge ignored the prisoner's pleas for clemency.

b : an act or instance of leniency The governor's clemencies saved the lives of many death-row prisoners.

2 : pleasant mildness of weather The fair was a great success, owing to the clemency of the weather.

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Choose the Right Synonym for clemency

mercy, charity, clemency, grace, leniency mean a disposition to show kindness or compassion. mercy implies compassion that forbears punishing even when justice demands it. threw himself on the mercy of the court charity stresses benevolence and goodwill shown in broad understanding and tolerance of others. show a little charity for the less fortunate clemency implies a mild or merciful disposition in one having the power or duty of punishing. the judge refused to show clemency grace implies a benign attitude and a willingness to grant favors or make concessions. by the grace of God leniency implies lack of severity in punishing. criticized the courts for excessive leniency

Examples of clemency in a Sentence

The President has granted clemency to several people this month. the judge chose to show clemency to the truly repentant embezzler

Recent Examples on the Web

Livingstone and the Ventura District Attorney’s Office filed a clemency petition on Nov. 20. Lyndsay Winkley, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Did crimes committed by Golden State Killer send Carlsbad man to prison for 39 years?," 30 Apr. 2018 By contrast, Ted Kulongoski granted clemency to 15 people during his last two years in office. Shane Dixon Kavanaugh, OregonLive.com, "Gov. Kate Brown pardons former Portland gang member turned mentor," 12 Feb. 2018 About a week later, Trump granted Johnson clemency. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Is Kim Kardashian Actually Studying at Law School?," 10 Sep. 2018 The board, in an 8-1 vote, did not recommend clemency for Tibbetts to Gov. John Kasich, according to a report released Friday. Jessie Balmert, Cincinnati.com, "Ohio Parole Board: Cincinnati killer still deserves death penalty even after juror sought mercy," 22 June 2018 The Texas parole board earlier this week refused to recommend Abbott grant clemency for Castillo, who is set to die Wednesday evening. Fox News, "The Latest: Texas executes man for "lovers' lane" killing," 16 May 2018 Among those who have supported Young’s bid for clemency is Mitesh Patel, who was 22 when his father was killed. Emilie Eaton, San Antonio Express-News, "As activists gather, court denies request to halt San Antonio man’s execution," 10 July 2018 The Ohio Parole Board previously held a clemency hearing for Tibbetts in March 2017, and voted 11-1 to uphold Tibbetts' death sentence. Marilyn Icsman, Cincinnati.com, "Juror's letter to Kasich prompts second clemency hearing for Cincinnati killer on death row," 14 June 2018 San Bernardino County prosecutors previously have asked Brown to deny Cooper’s petition for clemency. Laura J. Nelson, latimes.com, "Brown will consider new DNA testing in Chino Hills murder case," 5 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'clemency.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of clemency

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for clemency

see clement

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More Definitions for clemency

clemency

noun

English Language Learners Definition of clemency

: kind or merciful treatment of someone who could be given harsh punishment

clemency

noun
clem·​en·​cy | \ˈkle-mən-sē \
plural clemencies

Kids Definition of clemency

2 : an act of mercy

clemency

noun
clem·​en·​cy | \ˈkle-mən-sē \
plural clemencies

Legal Definition of clemency 

1 : willingness or ability to moderate the severity of a punishment (as a sentence)

2 : an act or instance of mercy, compassion, or forgiveness — see also amnesty, commute, pardon, reprieve

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More from Merriam-Webster on clemency

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for clemency

Spanish Central: Translation of clemency

Nglish: Translation of clemency for Spanish Speakers

Comments on clemency

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