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See more synonyms for merciful on Thesaurus.com
  1. full of mercy; characterized by, expressing, or showing mercy; compassionate: a merciful God.
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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


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for mercifulness

Historical Examples

  • But there was no compassion, no mercifulness in their faces as they looked down at her.

    From Place to Place

    Irvin S. Cobb

  • The brutality with which he spoke was so unnatural that it betrayed the mercifulness of his intention.

    The Explorer

    W. Somerset Maugham

  • The coroner then congratulates the parents on the “mercifulness” of the jury.

  • They regarded humility and mercifulness as the greatest virtues.

    Serbia in Light and Darkness

    Nikolaj Velimirovic

  • He will rule the world by mercifulness when we forgive each other, but not before.

    Serbia in Light and Darkness

    Nikolaj Velimirovic

British Dictionary definitions for mercifulness


  1. showing or giving mercy; compassionate
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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 mercifulness



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper