leniency

noun le·nien·cy \ ˈlē-nē-ən(t)-sē , -nyən(t)-sē \
Updated on: 19 Nov 2017

Definition of leniency

plural leniencies
1 : the quality or state of being lenient
  • the leniency of the punishment
2 : a lenient disposition or practice
  • The prisoner asked the judge for leniency.

Examples of leniency in a Sentence

  1. the defense requested leniency in light of their client's lack of a prior criminal record

Recent Examples of leniency from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'leniency.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of leniency

1753

Synonym Discussion of leniency

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


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