or mis·er·i·corde

[ miz-er-i-kawrd, mi-zer-i-kawrd ]
/ ˌmɪz ər ɪˈkɔrd, mɪˈzɛr ɪˌkɔrd /


a room in a monastery set apart for those monks permitted relaxation of the monastic rule.
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.
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. 2019

Examples from the Web for 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



/ (mɪˈzɛrɪˌkɔːd) /


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
  1. a relaxation of certain monastic rules for infirm or aged monks or nuns
  2. a monastery where such relaxations can be enjoyed
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