Definition of clemency in US English:



  • Mercy; lenience.

    ‘an appeal for clemency’
    • ‘Nine years later, after having had countless appeals and pleas for clemency rejected, Bleach, 52, is returning home.’
    • ‘Her supporters have lodged a petition of mercy and are hoping the government will use its royal prerogative to grant clemency and release her.’
    • ‘In general, convicts can file for clemency as many times as they want, but they have to wait a year or two between applications.’
    • ‘It's a proud tradition, as you know, of executive clemency that began with President Harry Truman.’
    • ‘His bid for clemency failed despite frantic lobbying by his supporters.’
    • ‘Self-constraint and clemency is the principle path to righteousness.’
    • ‘When the Prison Commission discussed the virtues of parole it invoked ideas of mercy and clemency.’
    • ‘Johannah was devastated and put into motion a petition for clemency.’
    • ‘He would, however, have the right to grant clemency to prisoners on federal death row, which currently houses 29 men.’
    • ‘Everyone in the land is slowly coming to respect Gulliver's clemency and kindness.’
    • ‘He was freed on Friday after being granted royal clemency and immediately announced that he had been forced into confessing to the bombings.’
    • ‘In effect, he argues that indiscriminate clemency for murderers perverts both justice and mercy.’
    • ‘I have it in my hand right now from the governor's office, as to why clemency was denied.’
    • ‘His record indicates, for instance, that he did not see his role as one of mercy, the traditional reason for clemency.’
    • ‘It said Nguyen's appeals for clemency were carefully considered.’
    • ‘They were granted an order of clemency by the king.’
    • ‘He expanded his mission, compiling a list of women who might be good candidates for clemency.’
    • ‘Despite his calls for clemency, it's not clear how he plans to keep his promise.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, the law is utterly silent on how, why and when this clemency should be exercised.’
    • ‘He is trying to raise public awareness about her plight in order to win some state-sanctioned clemency, but it might be too late.’
    mercy, mercifulness, leniency, lenience, mildness, indulgence, forbearance, quarter
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Late Middle English: from Latin clementia, from clemens, clement- ‘clement’.