clemency

play
noun clem·en·cy \ˈkle-mən(t)-sē\

Definition of clemency

plural

clemencies

  1. 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. 2 :  pleasant mildness of weather The fair was a great success, owing to the clemency of the weather.

Examples of clemency in a sentence

  1. The President has granted clemency to several people this month.

  2. the judge chose to show clemency to the truly repentant embezzler

Origin and Etymology of clemency

see clement


First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of 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

CLEMENCY Defined for English Language Learners

clemency

play
noun clem·en·cy \ˈkle-mən(t)-sē\

Definition of clemency for English Language Learners

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


CLEMENCY Defined for Kids

clemency

play
noun clem·en·cy \ˈkle-mən-sē\

Definition of clemency for Students

plural

clemencies

  1. 1 :  mercy 1

  2. 2 :  an act of mercy


Law Dictionary

clemency

play
noun clem·en·cy \ˈkle-mən-sē\

Legal Definition of clemency

plural

clemencies

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

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



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up clemency? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

acid in temper, mood, or tone

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • peter-bruegel-tower-of-babel-painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!