mercy
noun (plural mercies) Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French merci, from Medieval Latin merced-, merces, from Latin, price paid, wages, from merc-, merx merchandise Date: 13th century 1. a. compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one's power; also lenient or compassionate treatment <
begged for mercy
>
b. imprisonment rather than death imposed as penalty for first-degree murder 2. a. a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion b. a fortunate circumstance <
it was a mercy they found her before she froze
>
3. compassionate treatment of those in distress <
works of mercy among the poor
>
mercy adjective Synonyms: 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
>
.

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mercy — (engl: Gnade, Mitleid, Barmherzigkeit) bezeichnet: Personen: Claudius Florimund Mercy (1666–1734), kaiserlicher Feldmarschall Dominique Mercy (* 1950), französischer Tänzer und Choreograf Eugéne Guillaume Alexis, Graf von Mercy Argenteau (1743… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • MERCY — (Heb. רַחֲמִים), a feeling of compassion tempered with love, which engenders forgiveness and forbearance in man and which stimulates him to deeds of charity and kindness. This quality, inherent in man s attitude toward his loved ones, is an… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • mercy — [mʉr′sē] n. pl. mercies [OFr merci < L merces, hire, payment, reward (in LL, mercy, pity, favor) < merx, wares: see MARKET] 1. a refraining from harming or punishing offenders, enemies, persons in one s power, etc.; kindness in excess of… …   English World dictionary

  • Mercy — Mer cy (m[ e]r s[y^]), n.; pl. {Mercies}. [OE. merci, F. merci, L. merces, mercedis, hire, pay, reward, LL., equiv. to misericordia pity, mercy. L. merces is probably akin to merere to deserve, acquire. See {Merit}, and cf. {Amerce}.] 1.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Mercy —   [mɛr si],    1) Anton Graf Mercy d Argenteau [ darʒã to], österreichischer Feldmarschall, * Lothringen 20. 11. 1692, ✝ Osijek 22. 1. 1767, Neffe und Adoptivsohn von 2); kämpfte im Türkenkrieg 1737 39 und im Österreichen Erbfolgekrieg (1740/1741 …   Universal-Lexikon

  • mercy — mercy, charity, grace, clemency, lenity are comparable when meaning the disposition to show compassion or kindness in one s treatment of others, especially of those who offend one and who are in one s power to punish or rebuke. Mercy implies… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • mercy — ► NOUN (pl. mercies) 1) compassion or forgiveness shown towards an enemy or offender in one s power. 2) something to be grateful for. 3) (before another noun ) motivated by compassion: a mercy killing. ► EXCLAMATION archaic ▪ used to express… …   English terms dictionary

  • mercy — index benevolence (disposition to do good), clemency, condonation, consideration (sympathetic regard), humanity (humaneness), lenience, pity …   Law dictionary

  • Mercy — f English: 1 From the vocabulary word denoting the quality of magnanimity, and in particular God s forgiveness of sinners, a quality much prized in Christian tradition. The word is derived from Latin mercēs, which originally meant ‘wages’ or… …   First names dictionary

  • mercy — (n.) late 12c., God s forgiveness of his creatures offenses, from O.Fr. mercit, merci (9c.) reward, gift; kindness, grace, pity, from L. mercedem (nom. merces) reward, wages, pay hire (in V.L. favor, pity ), from merx (gen. mercis) wares,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Mercy — Mercy, 1) Franz v. M., geb. in Longwy in Lothringen, trat in baierische Dienste u. stieg bald zum General; er befehligte 1640 u. 41 ein liguistisches Corps am Niederrhein, wurde bei Kempten 1642 geschlagen u. nebst Lamboi gefangen, aber bald… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

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