He is a vicious criminal who deserves no mercy.
She fell to her knees and asked for mercy.
They came on a mission of mercy to provide food and medical care for starving children.
It's a mercy that the building was empty when the fire started.
Thank heaven for small mercies.
Recent Examples on the WebThe boy cannot be a reminder to the locals that the cartel boss ever shows mercy.—Scott Phillips, Forbes, 12 Feb. 2024 Jesus, thank You for Your mercy that was displayed upon the cross that has given those who call upon Your name and trust in you for forgiveness and new life.—Jorie Nicole McDonald, Southern Living, 31 Jan. 2024 Unfortunately, Framework is sort of at AMD's mercy here.—Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica, 29 Jan. 2024 The choir speaks of daily work, of dirt and gardening and patience, gravity, accountability, mercy, endurance, and the myriad little objects and gestures that fill a home and make a life.—Sara Holdren, Vulture, 25 Jan. 2024 Joanne’s entrance into the story provides some mercy for Capote, who has done wrong, but has a case too.—Daniel D'addario, Variety, 25 Jan. 2024 Characters whom viewers have gotten to know are killed without mercy, and deaths can be sudden and intense.—Common Sense Media, Washington Post, 12 Jan. 2024 But young people today are at the mercy of soaring rental costs and heavy student debt—all while navigating a difficult job market.—Orianna Rosa Royle, Fortune, 24 Jan. 2024 Days spent skiing or snowboarding find complexions at the mercy of winter’s harshest elements.—Calin Van Paris, Vogue, 17 Jan. 2024 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mercy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Middle English, from Anglo-French merci, from Medieval Latin merced-, merces, from Latin, price paid, wages, from merc-, merx merchandise
: kind and gentle treatment of someone (as a wrongdoer or opponent) having no right to it
: a disposition to show mercy
: a blessing as an act of divine love
the mercies of God
: a fortunate happening
it's a mercy the weather cooled off
: kindness shown to victims of misfortune
works of mercy among the poor
Middle English merci, mercy "mercy," from early French merci, mercit (same meaning), from Latin merces "price paid for something, wages, reward"
To the ancient Romans, the Latin word merces meant "price paid for something, wages, reward." The early Christians of Rome used the word in a slightly different way. For them it meant the spiritual reward one receives for doing a kindness in response to an unkindness. The word came into early French as mercit or merci with much the same meaning as was later passed on to our Modern English word mercy. But while mercy in English now has the meaning "kindness or pity shown to someone," the word merci in French has lost much of that meaning and is chiefly used today to mean "thank you."