leniency

noun
le·​nien·​cy | \ ˈlē-nē-ən(t)-sē How to pronounce leniency (audio) , -nyən(t)-sē \
plural leniencies

Definition of leniency

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.

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of leniency in a Sentence

the defense requested leniency in light of their client's lack of a prior criminal record
Recent Examples on the Web It can be complicated to find a balance between leniency and strictness during this time, especially as parents balance the roles of guardian, teacher, entertainer and friend. Kristen Rogers, CNN, "Positive discipline 101: How to rein in your kids when the pandemic changes the relationship," 17 June 2020 Biden, who was the author of a 1994 crime bill and had been a strong Democratic force in the war on drugs in the 1980s, said there should be more leniency in law enforcement and a greater emphasis on rehabilitation programs. Matt Viser, BostonGlobe.com, "Biden warns that President Trump ‘is going to try to steal this election’," 11 June 2020 Biden, who was the author of a 1994 crime bill and had also been a strong Democratic force in the war on drugs in the 1980s, also said that there should be more leniency in law enforcement and a greater emphasis on rehabilitation programs. Matt Viser, Anchorage Daily News, "Biden warns that Trump ‘is going to try to steal this election’," 11 June 2020 Another pardon form signed by Pitt on Nov. 15 recommended that Bevin consider a possible commutation of an unnamed individual whose brother was a political supporter of the governor, though adding that is no reason for leniency. Joe Sonka, The Courier-Journal, "Steve Pitt, top adviser to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, resigns," 8 June 2020 Burgos was sentenced in August 2019 to 255 years in prison, despite letters from tennis parents and others asking for leniency. David W. Chen, New York Times, "A Tennis Coach Was Abusing Minors. Should the Sport’s Federation Have Known?," 4 Apr. 2020 His lawyers pleaded for leniency when he was sentenced the next year, noting that pot growers are not even prosecuted in the growing number of states where marijuana is legal. Andrew Wolfson, The Courier-Journal, "'Godfather of Grass' begs for release from prison where 9 men have died from COVID-19," 21 May 2020 Multiple controversies arose out of his involvement in the prosecution of Roger Stone and Michael Flynn, with many Democrats criticizing moves to show leniency toward both Trump allies. Eric Heisig, cleveland, "U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman nominated by Trump for top federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C.," 18 May 2020 The government created a new bankruptcy law to aid loan-recoveries but, as the economy slowed, authorities started to show more leniency toward certain borrowers and small businesses. Anirban Nag, Bloomberg.com, "India’s Path Out of Pandemic Slump Hobbled by Shadow Bank Crisis," 5 May 2020

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.

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First Known Use of leniency

1753, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Time Traveler for leniency

Time Traveler

The first known use of leniency was in 1753

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Statistics for leniency

Last Updated

22 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Leniency.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/leniency. Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

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