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Word of the Day
Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Definitions for lenity

  1. the quality or state of being mild or gentle, as toward others.
  2. a lenient act.

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Citations for lenity
He confined the knowledge of governing within very narrow bounds, to common sense and reason, to justice and lenity, to the speedy determination of civil and criminal causes ... Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels, 1726
... I have relaxed, as I believe I may depend on her observing the rules I have laid down for their discourse. But do not imagine that with all this lenity I have for a moment given up my plan of her marriage ... Jane Austen, Lady Susan, 1871
Origin of lenity
The English noun lenity is a borrowing of Old French lenité or Latin lēnitat-, the stem of lēnitās “softness, smoothness, gentleness,” a derivative of the adjective lēnis, from which English has lenient and lenition. Lenity entered English in the mid-16th century.