mer·​ci·​ful | \ ˈmər-si-fəl How to pronounce merciful (audio) \

Definition of merciful

: full of mercy : compassionate a merciful ruler also : providing relief a merciful end

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Other Words from merciful

mercifulness \ ˈmər-​si-​fəl-​nəs How to pronounce mercifulness (audio) \ noun

Examples of merciful in a Sentence

He became less merciful to his enemies. He died a quick and merciful death.
Recent Examples on the Web Here are the picks for this week’s games: Missouri 29, Arkansas 27 — This is actually a winnable game for Arkansas as this worst of Razorback seasons comes to a merciful conclusion. Rex Nelson, Arkansas Online, "COLLEGE FOOTBALL IN ARKANSAS: Rex Nelson's predictions for Missouri-Arkansas and Arkansas State-South Alabama," 26 Nov. 2019 Judges tended to be more merciful toward young defendants than the algorithm recommended. Washington Post, "Algorithms were supposed to make Virginia judges fairer. What actually happened was far more complicated.," 19 Nov. 2019 In ancient Egypt, death wasn’t merciful enough to end one’s troubles. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "4,000-Year-Old Guide to the Ancient Egyptian Underworld May Be Oldest Illustrated ‘Book’," 1 Jan. 2020 But now, because Rihanna is a merciful and omniscient god, Fenty Beauty is about to launch its second foundation formula: Pro Filt’r Hydrating Longwear Foundation. Marci Robin, Allure, "Fenty Beauty's New Pro Filt’r Hydrating Longwear Foundation Is for Dry Skin Types," 1 Aug. 2019 Show the merciful Father, however out of place those in your presence might look or feel. Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review, "Hey Christians, Are We a Welcoming Committee?," 2 Dec. 2019 Occasionally someone would giggle or groan or make a feeble attempt to crawl toward the medicine cabinet and its merciful canister of Tums, only to lie back down. M. Carrie Allan,, "Overeating on Thanksgiving? Bitters can make it better.," 20 Nov. 2019 Friday night brought a merciful end to the Pac-12 championship game’s contract with Levi’s Stadium. Bruce Jenkins,, "Warriors’ nostalgia: When it seemed they would never lose," 6 Dec. 2019 At her office at the Center for Social Research and Development (CSRD), a merciful air conditioner hums faintly in the background. Jessica Wapner, Quartz, "Vietnamese women are hit harder by climate change—but they’re starting to fight back," 1 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'merciful.' 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 merciful

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for merciful

Time Traveler

The first known use of merciful was in the 14th century

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Statistics for merciful

Last Updated

20 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Merciful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for merciful


How to pronounce merciful (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of merciful

: treating people with kindness and forgiveness : not cruel or harsh : having or showing mercy
: giving relief from suffering


mer·​ci·​ful | \ ˈmər-si-fəl How to pronounce merciful (audio) \

Kids Definition of merciful

: having or showing mercy or compassion a merciful ruler

Other Words from merciful

mercifully \ -​fə-​lē \ adverb

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