Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


[mur-si-fuh l] /ˈmɜr sɪ fəl/
full of mercy; characterized by, expressing, or showing mercy; compassionate:
a merciful God.
Origin of merciful
Middle English word dating back to 1250-1300; See origin at mercy, -ful
Related forms
mercifully, adverb
mercifulness, noun
overmerciful, adjective
overmercifully, adverb
overmercifulness, noun
kind, clement, lenient, forgiving, benignant, tender, sympathetic.
cruel, relentless. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for merciful
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He was merciful only when you paid for His mercy in advance.

  • God will bless them, not because they have earned a reward, but because He is merciful and gracious.

  • She had re-appeared; it was she herself who now sobbed and besought him to be tender and merciful.

    The Dream Emile Zola
  • Whatever this dreadful secret is, be merciful, and God will bless you!'

  • She will put her hands together and pray you to be merciful.

    A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens
  • But, after all, fortune was merciful, and I was gone; the Major had summoned me--his brother had come.

    The Cavalier George Washington Cable
  • If there be Gods, they are merciful; but thou art a savage and unrelenting monster.

    Imogen William Godwin
British Dictionary definitions for merciful


showing or giving mercy; compassionate
Derived Forms
mercifulness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for merciful

mid-14c.; see mercy + -ful. Related: Mercifully.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for merciful

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for merciful

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for merciful