What does lenient mean?

Definitions for lenient
ˈli ni ənt, ˈlin yəntle·nient

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. indulgent, lenient, softadjective

    tolerant or lenient

    "indulgent parents risk spoiling their children"; "too soft on the children"; "they are soft on crime"

  2. lenientadjective

    not strict

    "an easy teacher"; "easy standards"; "lenient rules"; "an easy penalty"

  3. lenientadjective

    characterized by tolerance and mercy


  1. lenientadjective

    lax; tolerant of deviation; permissive; not strict

    The standard is fairly lenient, so use your discretion.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Lenientadjective

    Etymology: leniens, Latin.

    Consolatories writ
    With study’d argument, and much persuasion sought,
    Lenient of grief and anxious thought. John Milton, Agonistes.

    In this one passion man can strength enjoy;
    Time, that on all things lays his lenient hand,
    Yet tames not this; it sticks to our last sand. Alexander Pope.

    Oils relax the fibres, are lenient, balsamick, and abate acrimony in the blood. John Arbuthnot, on Aliments.

  2. Lenientnoun

    An emollient, or assuasive application.

    I dressed it with lenients. Richard Wiseman, Surgery.


  1. lenient

    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.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Lenientadjective

    relaxing; emollient; softening; assuasive; -- sometimes followed by of

  2. Lenientadjective

    mild; clement; merciful; not rigorous or severe; as, a lenient disposition; a lenient judge or sentence

  3. Lenientnoun

    a lenitive; an emollient

  4. Etymology: [L. leniens, -entis, p. pr. of lenire to soften, fr. lenis soft, mild. Cf. Lithe.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Lenient

    lē′ni-ent, adj. softening: mild: merciful.—n. (med.) that which softens: an emollient.—ns. Lē′nience, Lē′niency.—adv. Lē′niently.—v.t. Lē′nify (rare), to assuage.—adj. Len′itive, mitigating: laxative.—n. any palliative: (med.) an application for easing pain: a mild purgative.—n. Len′ity, mildness: clemency. [L. leniens, -entis, pr.p. of lenīre, to soften—lenis, soft.]

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of lenient in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of lenient in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of lenient in a Sentence

  1. Eva Millona:

    It really caused huge anxiety, families were torn apart, children were left in the custody of the state, there’s a bitter taste still in Massachusetts. Some advocates for more lenient immigration policies lauded Michelle DuBois.

  2. Henry Ward Beecher:

    Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you. Never excuse yourself. Never pity yourself. Be a hard master to yourself - and be lenient to everybody else.

  3. Josh Hawley:

    The horror of child pornography is exponentially worse than it was a decade ago, and judges handing out lenient sentences for these criminals is a big reason why, while the White House continues to dismiss concerns about leniency toward child porn offenders as a ‘desperate conspiracy theory,’ the numbers speak for themselves. Congress must act before this problem becomes even worse.

  4. Abu Khdeir:

    I told the judge that you need to give the maximum punishment for these murderers and not to be lenient with them, my wife and I are having nightmares in the middle of the night when we think about what has happened to our son.

  5. Sheldon Whitehouse:

    If you look at her record as a federal judge in criminal cases and particularly cases concerning child pornography over and over and over again, she gives incredibly lenient sentences.

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"lenient." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 21 Mar. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/lenient>.

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    living by preying on other animals especially by catching living prey
    • A. tacky
    • B. ravening
    • C. occlusive
    • D. eloquent

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