QUIZ YOURSELF ON "WAS" VS. "WERE"!
Origin of lenient
OTHER WORDS FROM lenient
Words nearby lenient
What does lenient mean?
Lenient means permissive or showing mercy, 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.
The word can be used to describe a person, an action, or a policy. It is especially applied to things like punishments, such as prison sentences, that people think are not severe enough.
The quality of being lenient is leniency.
Example: In my opinion, the punishment is far too lenient—I think he’s getting off too easy.
Where does lenient come from?
The first records of the word lenient come from around 1650. 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, lenient is most often used to describe a person or punishment as being soft or mild. The word is often used in the context of expressing that someone or something is either too lenient or not lenient enough. For example, people often criticize short prison sentences for people who have committed violent crimes as too lenient. When a person is described as being lenient, it often implies that they’re choosing to not strictly enforce rules in order to make things easier for someone. Grandparents are often known for being more lenient than parents when disciplining children (or not disciplining them).
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms of lenient?
- leniently (adverb)
- leniency (noun)
What are some synonyms for lenient?
What are some words that share a root or word element with lenient?
What are some words that often get used in discussing lenient?
How is lenient used in real life?
Lenient is used in many different contexts, but most of them involve rules and punishment.
Rob Manfred issued stern warning to pitchers seeking retribution against #Astros for sign-stealing scheme, tough talk for an MLB commish who is taking heat for being far too lenient on HOU players who were granted immunity from punishment for testimony. https://t.co/WBcL7XpJKo
— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) February 17, 2020
High school teachers: "Your college profs aren't going to be as lenient as we are"
College profs: "Sorry I'm late I didn't want to come"
— College Student (@ColIegeStudent) October 6, 2016
I always appreciated my parents being the perfect balance between strict and lenient 🥺
— バン (@nutn2dowichu) June 28, 2020
Try using lenient!
Which of the following words is an antonym (opposite) of lenient?
Example sentences from the Web for lenient
The math of being as lenient as possible for borrowers who are truly without fault has never been more persuasive.Bankers were the villains of the last recession. They can be heroes in this one|matthewheimer|December 11, 2020|Fortune
Officials also introduced an unusually lenient grading policy — meant to combat a spike in failing grades as the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to upend American education.In sudden switch, Loudoun County is returning all students to online learning|Hannah Natanson|December 10, 2020|Washington Post
There’s also the question of who really has the power to enforce the gendered double standard—and whether the answer is to be more lenient with female founders or to hold men to a higher standard, as I explore more in another story for Fortune today.
Being lenient back at the start of the pandemic has left them with huge numbers to make up before the end of the year.
In 46 of the cases, the accused officer was given an outcome more lenient than jail time, like probation or pretrial intervention.
The Jewish Week reported that sources said Hynes was expected to dispose of the case with a lenient plea deal.
Caminero just sounds like a jerk, and his charge of criminal mischief almost too lenient.
The New York Times and The Guardian asked President Obama to be lenient on the leaker in two editorials Thursday.Michael Hayden, Ex-NSA Director, Says Clemency for Edward Snowden Is ‘Outrageous’ Idea|Eli Lake|January 2, 2014|DAILY BEAST
In other words, Berlusconi's trivialization of the Shoah and his lenient views regarding Mussolini are not uncommon.Why Do Italian Jews Tolerate Berlusconi's Trivialization of the Holocaust?|Anna Momigliano|November 6, 2013|DAILY BEAST
Pushing more lenient sentencing polices was not going to be the White House's priority straight out of the gate.How Eric Holder Got His Chance to Overhaul Broken Sentencing System|Daniel Klaidman|August 16, 2013|DAILY BEAST
Usually the teacher was very lenient with Mother Wit, for of all her pupils Laura gave her the least trouble.The Girls of Central High on the Stage|Gertrude W. Morrison
Val once said he had been more sinned against than sinning: it may be deemed that in that opinion he was too lenient to himself.Elster's Folly|Mrs. Henry Wood
A moiling, toiling man, who shows no mercy to himself, is only lenient to others by excess of reason.The 'Characters' of Jean de La Bruyre|Jean de La Bruyre
The society into which he went was disposed to be exceedingly lenient to fashionable excesses.A Cursory History of Swearing|Julian Sharman
Though he has the reputation of being severe, he is far more lenient with other people's children than his own.Ways of War and Peace|Delia Austrian