lenient (adj.) 1650s, "relaxing, soothing," from M.Fr. lenient, from L. lenientem (nom. leniens), prp. of lenire "to soften, alleviate, mitigate, allay, calm," from lenis "mild, gentle, calm," probably from PIE root *le- "to leave, yield, let go, slacken" (Cf. Lith. lenas "quiet, tranquil, tame, slow," O.C.S. lena "lazy," L. lassus "faint, weary," O.E. læt "sluggish, slow," lætan "to leave behind"). Sense of "mild, merciful" (of persons) first recorded 1787. In earlier use was LENITIVE (Cf. lenitive), attested from early 15c. of medicines, 1610s of persons.

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  • Lenient — Le ni*ent (l[=e] n[i^]*ent or l[=e]n yent), a. [L. leniens, entis, p. pr. of lenire to soften, fr. lenis soft, mild. Cf. {Lithe}.] [1913 Webster] 1. Relaxing; emollient; softening; assuasive; sometimes followed by of. Lenient of grief. Milton.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Lenient — Le ni*ent, n. (Med.) A lenitive; an emollient. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Lenient — (spr. löniang), Charles, franz. Literarhistoriker, geb. 1825 in Provins (Seine et Marne), seit 1865 Professor der französischen Dichtkunst an der Pariser Sorbonne. Er veröffentlichte: »La satire en France an moyen âge« (1859, 4. Aufl. 1893; von… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • lenient — I noun allowing, benevolent, charitable, clemens, clement, compassionate, condoning, considerate, easy, easygoing, enduring, exorable, favoring, forbearing, forgiving, free from vindictiveness, generous, gentle, humane, humoring, indulgent,… …   Law dictionary

  • lenient — 1 *soft, gentle, smooth, mild, bland, balmy Analogous words: assuaging, alleviating, relieving (see RELIEVE): grateful, agreeable, welcome, gratifying, pleasing, *pleasant Antonyms: caustic Contrasted words: harsh, *rough 2 indulgent, merciful,… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • lenient — [adj] permissive allowing, amiable, assuaging, assuasive, being big*, benign, benignant, charitable, clement, compassionate, complaisant, compliant, condoning, easy, easygoing, emollient, excusing, favoring, forbearing, forgiving, gentle, going… …   New thesaurus

  • lenient — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ merciful or tolerant. DERIVATIVES lenience noun leniency noun leniently adverb. ORIGIN from Latin lenire soothe , from lenis mild, gentle …   English terms dictionary

  • lenient — [lēn′yənt, lē′nē ənt] adj. [L leniens, prp. of lenire, to soften, alleviate < lenis, smooth, soft, mild < IE base * leī : see LATE] 1. not harsh or severe in disciplining, punishing, judging, etc.; mild; merciful; clement 2. Archaic… …   English World dictionary

  • lenient — 01. I think his parents are too [lenient]! He gets into all kinds of trouble, and they never do anything about it. 02. The suspect s lawyer asked the judge for [leniency] in sentencing because it was his first offence. 03. I don t think it is… …   Grammatical examples in English

  • lenient — adjective Brother Andrew was a lenient teacher Syn: merciful, clement, forgiving, forbearing, tolerant, charitable, humane, indulgent, easygoing, magnanimous, sympathetic, compassionate, mild See note at mercy Ant …   Thesaurus of popular words

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