- the quality of being clement; disposition to show forbearance, compassion, or forgiveness in judging or punishing; leniency; mercy.
- an act or deed showing mercy or leniency.
- (of the weather) mildness or temperateness.
Origin of clemency
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for clemency
Those who have such views are of course entitled to continue to have them, but the clemency grant has nothing to do with that.Exclusive: U.S. Intel Committee Chiefs Blast Deal for Israeli Spy
April 1, 2014
The Justice Department wants lawyers to help non-violent drug offenders get clemency to leave jail.A Momentous Change for America’s Tortuous Drug Sentencing
January 31, 2014
No less than the New York Times has called for clemency on his behalf, insisting that he has “done his country a great service.”The Unseen Threat to the Fourth Amendment Is the Fourth Amendment Itself
January 4, 2014
Yesterday, the New York Times urged the Obama administration to offer Edward Snowden “a plea bargain or some form of clemency.”Snowden’s Beijing Benefactors?
Gordon G. Chang
January 3, 2014
The chairs of the House and Senate intelligence committees have also said clemency should be ruled out for Snowden.Michael Hayden, Ex-NSA Director, Says Clemency for Edward Snowden Is ‘Outrageous’ Idea
January 2, 2014
Yet I forgive you all, that by this clemency I may move you to a better love and loyalty.The Historical Nights' Entertainment
Was this his clemency—this sparing of my life that he might submit it to an eternal shame?The Shame of Motley
The censures of Bishop Wilson on such offences did not err on the side of clemency.The Little Manx Nation - 1891
I did not doubt, no, I could not doubt, the king's clemency.A Romance of the West Indies
The acts of the court little agreed with these words of clemency.The Rise of the Hugenots, Vol. 1 (of 2)
Henry Martyn Baird
- mercy or leniency
- mildness, esp of the weather
Word Origin and History for clemency
1550s, "mildness or gentleness shown in exercise of authority," from Latin clementia "calmness, gentleness," from clemens "calm, mild," related to clinare "to lean" (see lean (v.)) + participial suffix -menos (also in alumnus). For sense evolution, cf. inclined in secondary meaning "disposed favorably." Earlier in same sense was clemence (late 15c.).
Meaning "mildness of weather or climate" is 1660s (a sense also in Latin); clement (adj.) is older in both senses, late 15c. and 1620s respectively, but now is used only in negation and only of the weather.