noun, plural le·ni·en·cies.
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Words nearby leniency
What does leniency mean?
Leniency is the quality of being lenient—permissive or merciful, as opposed to strict or harsh.
When you’re lenient with someone, you go easy on them. The word sometimes implies that maybe you’re going too easy, and should be more strict. On the other hand, if someone thinks a person is being too strict, such as when disciplining a child, they may tell them to be more lenient.
A person, an action, or a policy can show or have the quality of leniency. The word is especially used in the context of punishments, especially official ones like prison sentences. In this case, it’s often used to imply that such a punishment is not severe enough in the opinion of the speaker.
A less common variant of leniency is lenience.
Example: In my opinion, they’ve shown far too much leniency with his punishment—I think he’s getting off too easy.
Where does leniency come from?
The first records of the word leniency come from around 1780. It ultimately derives from the Latin verb lēnīre, meaning “to soften, soothe, or alleviate” (lēnīre comes from the Latin lenis, meaning “soft” or “mild”). Lenient was first used in the context of medical remedies to ease pain or discomfort. (The related word lenitive is still used in this sense.)
Today, leniency is most often used to refer to the mildness of a punishment. For example, people often criticize courts for showing too much leniency when giving short prison sentences for people who have committed violent crimes. Leniency often implies that a person is choosing to not strictly enforce rules in order to make things easier for someone. Grandparents are often known for having more leniency than parents when disciplining children (or not disciplining them).
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What are some other forms of leniency?
- lenience (noun)
- lenient (adjective)
What are some synonyms for leniency?
What are some words that share a root or word element with leniency?
What are some words that often get used in discussing leniency?
How is leniency used in real life?
Leniency is used in many different contexts, but most of them involve rules and punishment.
Despite recommendations from advocates that have urged leniency & prioritizing youths' health and safety amid the pandemic, a 15-year-old in Michigan was incarcerated in May after a judge ruled the teen violated probation by not completing her schoolwork. https://t.co/Ouia6M4EEW
— Sentencing Project (@SentencingProj) July 18, 2020
How rare was the leniency that Barr sought for Roger Stone? Sentencing guideline calculations are complex, but in a year's worth of cases, the government only sought that kind of variance that in less than 2% percent cases: https://t.co/4FD2jRCiNV
— Sharon LaFraniere (@SharonLNYT) March 7, 2020
As consumers across the country worry about how they’ll afford next month’s bills amid the pandemic, executives accused of bilking student-loan borrowers out of roughly $15.6 million are receiving leniency because of their financial circumstances. https://t.co/2IAajSQcCp
— MarketWatch (@MarketWatch) July 18, 2020
Try using leniency!
Which of the following words is an antonym (opposite) of leniency?
Example sentences from the Web for leniency
Maya’s daughter is given additional time on assignments and leniency for getting to school late or leaving early.
Georgia legislators and SKI customers have advocated leniency, arguing that punishing SKI could damage partners who had no role in or knowledge of SKI’s violations.
While the risk of collateral damage would hold significant weight in the sentencing phase of a conventional criminal or civil court proceeding, experts say the USITC’s mandate and structure makes leniency less likely.
The governor of Punjab province, a Muslim man, called publicly for leniency for her.
The self-declared caliphate is targeting its leniency, such as it is, along strictly sectarian lines.The Terrorist Caliph as Nation Builder in Iraq, Syria, and Beyond|Jamie Dettmer|July 8, 2014|DAILY BEAST
But as elections approach, the Russian authorities are unlikely to show a sense of humor or leniency toward the renegade artists.
Now other defendants are using his case as a springboard to plead for leniency.
Why would hardened soldiers, quite willing to commit a suicide bombing, politely exchange information for leniency?
It was with difficulty that some public men moved him to leniency.The Inside Story Of The Peace Conference|Emile Joseph Dillon
The men realized now, in their half-sober senses, that the Kid was only wounded, and this inclined them to leniency toward Curly.The Golden Woman|Ridgwell Cullum
The mild punishments that their naughtiness or disobedience brings down upon them invariably err on the side of leniency.The Historical Child|Oscar Chrisman
And this leniency and forgiveness were the more remarkable, since he was not demonstrative in his affections and friendships.Beacon Lights of History, Volume XII|John Lord
Leniency has been tried without success, and it is now necessary to show him that the law will not be braved with impunity.