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Origin of lenient
OTHER WORDS FROM 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).
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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 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
The dispute-resolution process is also too protracted, and the sanctions against offending parties too lenient.
Lenine is afraid that the proletariat is too soft-hearted and lenient.Bolshevism|John Spargo
For the first time the lenient doctor did not want to relieve pain.A Man of Two Countries|Alice Harriman
These audiences were usually large, and far too lenient in the estimation of Tus-ka-sah.The Frontiersmen|Charles Egbert Craddock
It is surprising how lenient we can be to the defects or failings of those who minister to our vanity!Grif|B. L. (Benjamin Leopold) Farjeon
Elisabeth cheerfully caught at this straw of comfort; she was always ready to take a lenient view of her own shortcomings.The Farringdons|Ellen Thorneycroft Fowler