merciful

Use the adjective merciful to describe someone who has compassion for other people, especially when he is in a position to punish them or treat them harshly.

If you're caught cheating on a math test, your best hope is that your teacher will be merciful, or that she will forgive you for what you've done. Forgiving someone or relieving a person's pain are both merciful acts. The word merciful also has religious connotations which come from the root word mercy, used since the 12th century to mean "God's forgiveness of his creatures' offenses." The origin is the Old French merci, "pity or thanks."

Primary Meanings of merciful

1.
adj
showing or giving mercy
2.
adj
(used conventionally of royalty and high nobility) gracious
Full Definitions of merciful
1

adj showing or giving mercy

“sought merciful treatment for the captives”
“a merciful god”
Synonyms:
clement
(used of persons or behavior) inclined to show mercy
compassionate
showing or having compassion
soft
compassionate and kind; conciliatory
humane
marked or motivated by concern with the alleviation of suffering
kind
having or showing a tender and considerate and helpful nature; used especially of persons and their behavior
Antonyms:
merciless, unmerciful
having or showing no mercy
bloody
having or covered with or accompanied by blood
inclement
used of persons or behavior; showing no clemency or mercy
uncompassionate
lacking compassion or feeling for others
hard
dispassionate
unkind
lacking kindness
bowelless, cutthroat, fierce
ruthless in competition
mortal
unrelenting and deadly
pitiless, remorseless, ruthless, unpitying
without mercy or pity
tigerish
resembling a tiger in fierceness and lack of mercy
implacable
incapable of being placated
show more antonyms...
2

adj (used conventionally of royalty and high nobility) gracious

“our merciful king”
Synonyms:
gracious
characterized by charm, good taste, and generosity of spirit

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