What does Mercy mean?

Definitions for Mercy
ˈmɜr simer·cy

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word Mercy.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. clemency, mercifulness, mercynoun

    leniency and compassion shown toward offenders by a person or agency charged with administering justice

    "he threw himself on the mercy of the court"

  2. mercifulness, mercynoun

    a disposition to be kind and forgiving

    "in those days a wife had to depend on the mercifulness of her husband"

  3. mercifulness, mercynoun

    the feeling that motivates compassion

  4. mercynoun

    something for which to be thankful

    "it was a mercy we got out alive"

  5. mercynoun

    alleviation of distress; showing great kindness toward the distressed

    "distributing food and clothing to the flood victims was an act of mercy"


  1. mercynoun

    relenting; forbearance to cause or allow harm to another

    She took mercy on him and quit embarrassing him.

  2. mercynoun

    forgiveness or compassion, especially toward those less fortunate.

    Have mercy on the poor and assist them if you can.

  3. mercynoun

    A tendency toward forgiveness, pity, or compassion

    Mercy is one of his many virtues.

  4. mercynoun

    Instances of forbearance or forgiveness.

    Psalms 40:11 Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O Lord

  5. mercynoun

    A blessing, something to be thankful for.

    It was a mercy that we were not inside when the roof collapsed

  6. Mercynoun

    A female given name from English, one of the less common Puritan virtue names.

    Mr Pecksniff was a moral man — a grave man, a man of noble sentiments and speech — and he had had her christened Mercy. Mercy! oh, what a charming name for such a pure–souled Being as the youngest Miss Pecksniff! Her sister’s name was Charity. There was a good thing! Mercy and Charity!

  7. Etymology: From merci, from merci (compare merci, mercit), from mercedem, accusative of merces, from merx. Displaced native Middle English are, ore "mercy" (from Old English ar "mercy, grace"), Middle English mildse "mercy, clemency" (from Old English milds, milts "mercy, kindness").

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. MERCYnoun

    Etymology: merci, French, contracted from misericordia, Latin.

    Oh heav’n have mercy on me!
    —— I say, amen.
    And have you mercy too? William Shakespeare.

    Mercy is not strain’d;
    It droppeth, as the gentle rain from heav’n,
    Upon the place beneath. It is twice bless’d;
    It blesseth him that gives and him that takes. William Shakespeare.

    Arise, and have mercy upon Zion. Psal. cii. 13.

    Thou, O God, art gracious, long-suffering, and in mercy ordering all. Wisd. xv. 1.

    Examples of justice must be made for terror to some; examples of mercy for comfort to others: the one procures fear, and the other love. Francis Bacon, Advice to Villiers.

    Good heav’n, whose darling attribute we find
    Is boundless grace, and mercy to mankind,
    Abhors the cruel. Dryden.

    We adore his undeserved mercy towards us, that he made us the chief of the visible creation. Richard Bentley, Sermons.

    ’Twere a paper lost,
    As offer’d mercy is. William Shakespeare, Cymbeline.

    Cry mercy lords,
    That you have ta’en a tardy sluggard here. William Shakespeare.

    I cry thee mercy with all my heart, for suspecting a friar of the least good-nature. John Dryden, Spanish Friar.

    What good condition can a treaty find
    I’ th’ part that is at mercy? William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.

    The most authentick record of so ancient a family should lie at the mercy of every infant who flings a stone. Alexander Pope.

    A lover is ever complaining of cruelty while any thing is denied him; and when the lady ceases to be cruel, she is, from the next moment, at his mercy. Jonathan Swift.


  1. Mercy

    Mercy (Middle English, from Anglo-French merci, from Medieval Latin merced-, merces, from Latin, "price paid, wages", from merc-, merxi "merchandise") is benevolence, forgiveness, and kindness in a variety of ethical, religious, social, and legal contexts. In the social and legal context, mercy may refer both to compassionate behavior on the part of those in power (e.g. mercy shown by a judge toward a convict), or on the part of a humanitarian third party, e.g., a mission of mercy aiming to treat war victims.


  1. mercy

    Mercy can be defined as an act of compassion, kindness, or forgiveness shown towards someone who is deserving of punishment or suffering. It involves refraining from inflicting harm or punishment, and instead showing leniency or granting mercy to the person in need. Mercy is often associated with feelings of empathy, sympathy, and understanding, and it involves a willingness to alleviate someone's suffering or grant them a second chance.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Mercynoun

    forbearance to inflict harm under circumstances of provocation, when one has the power to inflict it; compassionate treatment of an offender or adversary; clemency

  2. Mercynoun

    compassionate treatment of the unfortunate and helpless; sometimes, favor, beneficence

  3. Mercynoun

    disposition to exercise compassion or favor; pity; compassion; willingness to spare or to help

  4. Mercynoun

    a blessing regarded as a manifestation of compassion or favor


  1. Mercy

    Mercy is a broad term that refers to benevolence, forgiveness and kindness in a variety of ethical, religious, social and legal contexts. The concept of a "Merciful God" appears in various religions, including Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Performing acts of mercy as a component of religious beliefs is also emphasized through actions such as the giving of alms, and care for the sick and Works of Mercy. In the social and legal context, mercy may refer both to compassionate behavior on the part of those in power, or on the part of a humanitarian third party, e.g., a mission of mercy aiming to treat war victims.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Mercy

    mėr′si, n. tenderness and forbearance shown in sparing an offender in one's power: a forgiving disposition: clemency: an act of mercy: an undeserved blessing: compassion or benevolence.—adjs. Mer′ciable (Spens.), merciful; Mer′ciful, full of, or exercising, mercy.—adv. Mer′cifully.—n. Mer′cifulness.—v.t. Mer′cify (Spens.), to deal mercifully with, to pity.—adj. Mer′ciless, without mercy: unfeeling: cruel.—adv. Mer′cilessly.—ns. Mer′cilessness, want of mercy; Mer′cy-seat, the seat or place of mercy; the covering of the Jewish Ark of the Covenant: the throne of God.—At the mercy of (another), wholly in the power of; For mercy! or For mercy's sake! an exclamatory appeal to pity; Great mercy=Gramercy; Sisters of mercy, members of female religious communities who tend the sick, &c. [Fr. merci, grace—L. merces, mercedis, pay, in later L. also 'favour.']

The Roycroft Dictionary

  1. mercy

    1. The charity of tyrants. 2. The forgiveness of one scoundrel by another. 3. The culmination of the Will-to-Power and its final apotheosis. 4. A quality which, like soup, the more it is strained the less soup and the more water you have. 5. In war a universal mode of subjugating a people.

Suggested Resources

  1. mercy

    Song lyrics by mercy -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by mercy on the Lyrics.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. MERCY

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Mercy is ranked #38484 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Mercy surname appeared 575 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Mercy.

    55.4% or 319 total occurrences were White.
    39.8% or 229 total occurrences were Black.
    2.6% or 15 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    1% or 6 total occurrences were of two or more races.

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Mercy' in Nouns Frequency: #2756

How to pronounce Mercy?

How to say Mercy in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Mercy in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Mercy in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of Mercy in a Sentence

  1. Tywanza Sanders:

    May God have mercy on your soul, you have killed some of the most beautiful people that I know. Every fiber in my body hurts.

  2. Connie Chung to Johnny Carson:

    In all honesty, Johnny, we are often at the mercy of the White House for the news we report. Frequently, we simply repeat verbatim what the White House tells us.

  3. Robert Engelkes:

    Look what the Republican Party threw out there then: McCain was a mercy killing, he was just a mercy killing. Everybody was tired of Republicans for a while, so they had to throw something out there.

  4. Frank Atwood:

    Thank you precious father for coming today and shepherding me into the faith. I want to thank my beautiful wife who has loved me with everything she has, i pray the Lord will have mercy on all of us and that the Lord will have mercy on me.

  5. Benny Palmeri-Bacchi:

    I feel very remorseful and I ask for mercy.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for Mercy

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"Mercy." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 23 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Mercy>.

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    not established or confirmed
    A unsealed
    B contagious
    C ectomorphic
    D adscripted

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