- agreeably tolerant; permissive; indulgent: He tended to be lenient toward the children. More lenient laws encouraged greater freedom of expression.
- Archaic. softening, soothing, or alleviative.
Origin of lenient
Examples from the Web for leniently
How leniently, then, should we deal with those who labor for our pleasure in these capacities!Sir Jasper Carew
Charles James Lever
Thus in every way the Inquisition dealt with him as leniently as they could.Pioneers of Science
That she should have been treated so leniently and Jeanne so cruelly!Jeanne d'Arc
"Just like a fool woman," people say leniently, and are willing to let it pass.At the Age of Eve
Kate Trimble Sharber
"Well, I don't see why not," agreed the lieutenant, leniently.Linda Carlton, Air Pilot
- showing or characterized by mercy or tolerance
- archaic caressing or soothing
Word Origin and History for leniently
1650s, "relaxing, soothing," from Middle French lenient, from Latin lenientem (nominative leniens), present participle of lenire "to soften, alleviate, mitigate, allay, calm," from lenis "mild, gentle, calm," probably from PIE root *le- "to leave, yield, let go, slacken" (cf. Lithuanian lenas "quiet, tranquil, tame, slow," Old Church Slavonic lena "lazy," Latin lassus "faint, weary," Old English læt "sluggish, slow," lætan "to leave behind"). Sense of "mild, merciful" (of persons) first recorded 1787. In earlier use was lenitive, attested from early 15c. of medicines, 1610s of persons.