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 The proposal also called for a clemency review commission modeled after South Dakota. Star Tribune, "Judge: Minnesota's unanimous pardon board requirement unconstitutional," 21 Apr. 2021 Floyd wants a chance to seek clemency at a June 22 meeting of the Nevada State Pardons Board, Levenson said. CBS News, "Nevada killer seeks firing squad over lethal injection if he's executed," 20 Apr. 2021 Floyd wants a chance to seek clemency at a June 22 meeting of the Nevada State Pardons Board, Levenson said. CBS News, "Nevada killer seeks firing squad over lethal injection if he's executed," 20 Apr. 2021 Floyd wants a chance to seek clemency at a June 22 meeting of the Nevada State Pardons Board, Levenson said. Ken Ritter, Star Tribune, "Nevada inmate fighting execution seeks firing-squad option," 19 Apr. 2021 Powerful indeed: That very meeting resulted in the president granting clemency to prison reform advocate Alice Marie Johnson. Brynn Wallner, Harper's BAZAAR, "4 Iconic Watches to Know If You're Considering Investing," 16 Apr. 2021 Deciding if a person deserves clemency is not an easy or enviable task. Washington Post, "How ‘Free Tony Lewis’ became both a son’s plea and a call on Biden to create a national clemency program," 10 Apr. 2021 Over the years, at least four of those who received clemency or their families had donated to Aleph. New York Times, "Access, Influence and Pardons: How a Set of Allies Shaped Trump’s Choices," 21 Mar. 2021 Kensu has been denied clemency three times, most recently by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. NBC News, "Is Temujin Kensu a 'ninja killer' or wrongfully convicted man?," 21 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for clemency

Time Traveler

The first known use of clemency was in the 15th century

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Statistics for clemency

Last Updated

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Clemency.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/clemency. Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on clemency

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for clemency

Nglish: Translation of clemency for Spanish Speakers

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