clemency

noun
clem·​en·​cy | \ ˈkle-mən(t)-sē How to pronounce clemency (audio) \
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

And Illinois is the latest state to offer clemency for marijuana convictions. Ryan Prior, CNN, "Illinois is expunging marijuana convictions from nearly 800,000 criminal records," 27 June 2019 Then after sentencing, prosecutors say, Mr. Khan’s lawyers can file a clemency petition with the Pentagon official who oversees the Guantánamo court, called the convening authority. Carol Rosenberg, New York Times, "Guantánamo Case to Test Whether Torture Can Be Put on the Docket," 24 June 2019 Federal clemency reform can’t fix the entire problem. German Lopez, Vox, "Cory Booker has a plan to reform the criminal justice system — without Congress," 20 June 2019 Petersburg; Desmond Meade, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition; and Reggie Garcia, clemency lawyer. Hal Boedeker, orlandosentinel.com, "Trump in Orlando, Amendment 4, Patty Sheehan," 20 June 2019 In September 2018, Kardashian West visited the White House again to discuss sentencing reform and a clemency case with several Trump administration officials, including Ivanka and Jared Kushner. Tiffany Diane Tso, refinery29.com, "Kim Kardashian Went Back To The White House — & Had A Moment With Ivanka Trump," 15 June 2019 The Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole has scheduled a clemency hearing for June 19, the day before the planned execution. Joshua Sharpe, ajc, "Georgia killer makes last meal request ahead of execution," 13 June 2019 Trump tweeted approvingly of Gallagher in March and is rumored to be considering clemency for him. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "California GOP Rep.: My unit ‘killed probably hundreds of civilians’ in Iraq," 3 June 2019 Kobach, a Republican and leading candidate for Kansas governor, approached then-GOP Gov. Sam Brownback’s chief counsel about clemency for Kansas City-area resident Ryan Bader in August 2017, state records obtained by The Associated Press show. Washington Post, "APNewsBreak: Kobach sought pardon for VP of corporate donor," 20 June 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 How to pronounce clemency (audio) \
plural clemencies

Kids Definition of clemency

2 : an act of mercy

clemency

noun
clem·​en·​cy | \ ˈkle-mən-sē How to pronounce clemency (audio) \
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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