mercy


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 compassion so great as to enable one to forbear, even when justice demands punishment, or to give help or comfort even to the lowliest or most undeserving
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earthly power doth then show likest God's when mercy seasons justice— Shak.

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souls who God's forbearance try, and those that seek his help, and for his mercy sigh— Wordsworth

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Charity stresses benevolence and goodwill, especially as it reveals itself not only in giving generously (for this sense see CHARITY 2) but in broad understanding of others and in kindly tolerance
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with malice toward none, with charity for all— Lincoln

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lack of another faculty: the faculty which theologians still call charity. Nowhere, in the whole of the volume, does any character act out of genuine kindness— Time

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it is far commoner at the University to meet men of great attainments combined with sincere humility and charityBenson

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Grace implies a benignant attitude toward those who are dependent on one and a disposition to grant favors or to make concessions to them
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each in his place, by right, not grace, shall rule his heritage— Kipling

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that quiet but unabashed hospitality which is a common grace in Mexican households— Cather

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though the wages of sin are exacted with biblical sternness, a tender grace is present in a hundred minute particulars— Gaither

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Clemency (see also clement under FORBEARING) implies a mild or merciful disposition in one whose duty or function it is to administer justice or to punish offenses
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clemency ... is the standing policy of constitutional governments, as severity is of despotism— Hallam

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off went poor Tom .... to rejoice in the clemency that spared his appearance at Sessions— Meredith

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Lenity differs from clemency only in its greater emphasis on lack of severity. It often suggests undue gentleness or softness or even at times undue leniency
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what makes robbers bold but too much lenity?—Shak.

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if it produces a proper lenity to our citizens in captivity, it will have the effect we meant— Jefferson

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errors which, had he been regarded with a less affectionate lenity, would have stood against his official account— S. H. Adams

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Analogous words: compassion, ruth, pity, commiseration (see SYMPATHY): mercifulness, clemency, forbearance, tolerance, leniency, indulgence (see under FORBEARING)
Contrasted words: vengeance, revenge, retribution, reprisal, *retaliation: punishment, chastening, chastisement, disciplining or discipline, correction, castigation (see corresponding verbs at PUNISH)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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  • 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 — ► 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