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

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 Even if Trump doesn’t commute the sentence, grant clemency or pardon a single person suggested by the NFL players, the simple consideration is proof that their strategy worked. Michael Harriot, The Root, "Donald Trump Admits the NFL Protests Actually Worked," 8 June 2018 Presidential pardon claims are normally processed by the Department of Justice’s Office of the Pardon Attorney, which does fairly extensive research and investigations on claims for presidential clemency. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Donald Trump’s posthumous pardon of boxing champion Jack Johnson, explained," 24 May 2018 She was widely known as someone who deserved clemency. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "How a Former Glamour College Woman of the Year Helped Break the Alice Johnson Story," 13 July 2018 For decades, the process worked smoothly, and hundreds of clemency grants were issued each year. Campbell Robertson, New York Times, "Pardon Seekers Have a New Strategy in the Trump Era: ‘It’s Who You Know’," 12 July 2018 The pardons are the latest in a growing list of clemency actions by Trump, who has been using his pardon power with increasingly frequency in recent months. Jill Colvin And Zeke Miller, chicagotribune.com, "Trump pardons ranchers in case that inspired 2016 occupation of national wildlife refuge in Oregon," 10 July 2018 The pardons are the latest in a growing list of clemency actions by Trump, who has been using his pardon power with increasingly frequency in recent months. Author: Jill Colvin, Zeke Miller, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump pardons Oregon ranchers in case that inspired 2016 wildlife refuge occupation in Oregon," 10 July 2018 Last autumn she was allowed to return to Chechnya from a Kurdish prison under a Chechen clemency program for the wives and children of ISIS fighters. Washington Post, "Forgiven by her native Chechnya, a woman is returned from Islamic State," 2 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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