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 And, as a result of their addictions, both were sent to prison this week -if only for periods of days - after long, emotional arguments for leniency in U.S. District Court. Edmund H. Mahony, courant.com, 26 May 2021 The assignment of these 10 percent of offenders to ADAs of varying leniency becomes the source of randomness. Charles Fain Lehman, National Review, 18 Apr. 2021 One sign of a measure of leniency toward Alibaba came earlier this year, before the company’s sale of $5 billion worth of bonds. Keith Zhai, WSJ, 11 Mar. 2021 Typically, prosecutors offer a potential defendant leniency in exchange for their help. Corinne Ramey, WSJ, 13 May 2021 When seeking to turn an insider into a cooperating witness, prosecutors often seek leverage over the person, including any evidence of past wrongdoing, and then typically offer leniency in exchange for testimony or assistance. New York Times, 13 May 2021 The state is also offering leniency on two other inspection categories. BostonGlobe.com, 13 Apr. 2021 Adopt new technology that allows for quick and accessible communication but also gives leniency for your employees who are learning the new software. Yec, Forbes, 2 Mar. 2021 The federal court voted two to one in favor of giving them parole on Christmas Eve, after the Ethiopian attorney general, Gedion Timothewos, requested leniency because of their old age. Eoin Mcsweeney, CNN, 30 Dec. 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

11 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Leniency.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/leniency. Accessed 22 Jun. 2021.

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