or mis·er·i·corde

[miz-er-i-kawrd, mi-zer-i-kawrd]
  1. a room in a monastery set apart for those monks permitted relaxation of the monastic rule.
  2. Also subsellium. a small projection on the underside of a hinged seat of a church stall, which, when the seat is lifted, gives support to a person standing in the stall.
  3. a medieval dagger, used for the mercy stroke to a wounded foe.

Origin of misericord

1200–50; Middle English misericorde literally, pity, mercy, an act of clemency < Middle French < Latin misericordia pity, equivalent to misericord- (stem of misericors) compassionate (miseri-, stem of miserēre to pity + cord- stem of cor heart) + -ia -y3
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for misericord

Historical Examples of misericord

  • "It certainly looks like a misericord," remarked Reeves, drawing the rusty steel from its mouldy sheath.

    Captured at Tripoli

    Percy F. Westerman

British Dictionary definitions for misericord



  1. a ledge projecting from the underside of the hinged seat of a choir stall in a church, on which the occupant can support himself while standing
  2. Christianity
    1. a relaxation of certain monastic rules for infirm or aged monks or nuns
    2. a monastery where such relaxations can be enjoyed
  3. a small medieval dagger used to give the death stroke to a wounded foe

Word Origin for misericord

C14: from Old French, from Latin misericordia compassion, from miserēre to pity + cor heart
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