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 formsmer·ci·ful·ly, adverbmer·ci·ful·ness, nouno·ver·mer·ci·ful, adjectiveo·ver·mer·ci·ful·ly, adverbo·ver·mer·ci·ful·ness, noun

Synonyms for merciful

Antonyms for merciful Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for merciful

Contemporary Examples of merciful

Historical Examples of merciful

British Dictionary definitions for merciful



showing or giving mercy; compassionate
Derived Formsmercifulness, 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

Word Origin and History for merciful

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper