Definition of merciful in English:



  • 1Showing or exercising mercy.

    ‘William did not believe in being merciful to those who fought against him’
    • ‘They instilled fear into every ship that crossed their waters, though they often were merciful to those who surrendered.’
    • ‘The difficult task is to find ways of being merciful to the guilty without being cruel to the innocent.’
    • ‘William did not believe in being merciful to those who fought against him.’
    • ‘At least he would be more merciful to them and give them a quick end.’
    • ‘So the generous, merciful boys in blue gave him his own space.’
    • ‘May He show His face to you and be merciful to you.’
    • ‘Still, that same crowd was merciful to the ignorant.’
    • ‘It is, to say the least, difficult to understand how it is possible to be loving and merciful to people one is trying to kill.’
    • ‘Being a servant means always wanting to help others; it is being compassionate and merciful.’
    • ‘The expression on the goddess' face was merciful and compassionate.’
    • ‘Is this the action of a merciful and compassionate loving deity?’
    • ‘It continued: ‘You are merciful to all because you can do all things’.’
    • ‘I think that in turn we should be merciful to those who sin against us, without our mercy leading us to neglect our responsibilities to others.’
    • ‘To Rich, his brother suddenly appeared as some benign leader, the merciful father taking his excitable daughters on holiday.’
    • ‘Be merciful to the other creations so the Creator will have mercy on you.’
    • ‘He was merciful to me and my family, especially my parents.’
    • ‘His teachings included temperance, being thankful to the Creator, merciful to children and the poor, and the evil of greed and pride.’
    • ‘Blessed are you, my sisters, when you are merciful to the oppressed.’
    • ‘The rabbis tell us that ‘he who is merciful to the cruel will feel indifference for the innocent.’’
    • ‘I'm happy and glad to see that God is merciful and generous towards all people, whether they are religious or not.’
    forgiving, compassionate, gracious, lenient, clement, pitying, forbearing, humane, mild, soft-hearted, tender-hearted, kind, kindly, sympathetic
    show mercy to, have mercy on, have pity on, spare, pardon, forgive, let off, be lenient on, be lenient to, deal leniently with
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of an event) coming as a mercy; bringing someone relief from something unpleasant.
      ‘her death was a merciful release’
      • ‘Instead of compelling the patient to lead the terrible life of an invalid, the doctor should have let the patient die a merciful death, the media argued.’
      • ‘The most the Old Testament writers hope for is a ripe old age ended by a quick and merciful death.’
      • ‘After reading about 40 pages, she fell into a merciful, dreamless sleep.’
      • ‘Bombing would have been, it was believed, a merciful end to those who suffered unimaginable horrors there.’
      • ‘With the unfairness of it all, the final whistle was a merciful relief.’
      • ‘My yearning and lust for this movie was unquenchable at the time, rivaling my current prayers for a quick and merciful death.’
      • ‘For a while there, it didn't seem like it was ever going to happen but 1998 has finally come to a merciful end.’
      • ‘It's a merciful release from reliance on parents, one's own way to the movies or a friend's house.’
      • ‘Captain America has just been asked if he wants to surrender and receive a quick and merciful death.’
      • ‘His death was undoubtedly merciful, but he left a sad gap among his dwindling circle of friends.’
      • ‘So perhaps he was pleading for a merciful death?’
      • ‘But we do not seem to be getting anything like the amount of government we pay for (which might come to some people as a merciful relief).’
      • ‘It's also a taste of things to come, a reward for the patient, and a merciful release for the tortured.’
      • ‘After the merciful demise of her husband in 1842 her activities became less camouflaged and in the 1850s she was involving herself in the serf problem.’
      • ‘When a disabled child dies some people think it is a merciful release but it was the beginning of a nightmare for us.’
      • ‘Perhaps, in the light of her illness, it was a merciful release.’
      • ‘So we let the brief conversation come to a merciful end and they started to walk away.’
      • ‘It may be that the gods are merciful when they make our lives more unpleasant as we grow old.’
      • ‘Confused he walked back to dying chief, he was calling out for a merciful death.’
      • ‘There is no shelter for them to find merciful relief from their vilification.’
      welcome, blessed, acceptable
      View synonyms