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

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 Kardashian West talked about potential clemency for the great-grandmother with Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law who has an interest in prison reform. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Kim Kardashian advocates for Alice Johnson, others who are jailed," 7 June 2018 Last week, Kim Kardashian West met with Donald Trump to discuss prison reform (who could make this up?) and clemency for 67-year-old Alice Marie Johnson. P.j. Rickards, The Root, "Why Everyone Needs to Know About Alice Marie Johnson, the Great-Grandmother Who is Serving a Life Sentence," 5 June 2018 The state Pardon Board has denied clemency for a Pearl River man serving a life sentence after being convicted of second-degree murder in 2001. Bob Warren, NOLA.com, "Pardon Board denies clemency in Pearl River murder," 21 Sep. 2017 Trudeau has been calling leaders around the world in a campaign to win the release of the two detained Canadians and seek clemency for the Canadian facing the death penalty. Rob Gillies, The Seattle Times, "Canada’s foreign minister says why China envoy fired," 28 Jan. 2019 With President Barack Obama in his second term, Turner appealed for clemency for a number of them, Johnson included. Jessica Chou, Glamour, "Shawn Holley Will Free You Now," 11 Dec. 2018 Johnson submitted an application for clemency to the Obama Administration on three occasions. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Who Is Alice Marie Johnson? Kim Kardashian Visited the White House to Discuss Her Case," 6 June 2018 Jared Kushner's Prison Reform Efforts Are a Sham Photo Illustration by Alicia Tatone Kim Kardashian is meeting with Kushner and the president on Wednesday to discuss clemency for Alice Johnson. Jay Willis, GQ, "Jared Kushner's Prison Reform Efforts Are a Sham," 30 May 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

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