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From Latin clēmentia.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈklɛ.mə
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈklɛ.mə, /ˈklɛ.mə


clemency (countable and uncountable, plural clemencies)

  1. The gentle or kind exercise of power; leniency, mercy; compassion in judging or punishing.
    • 1601, William Shakespeare, Hamlet:
      For vs, and for our Tragedie, / Heere stooping to your Clemencie: / We begge your hearing Patientlie.
    • 2010, Priyamvada Gopal, The Guardian, 4 May 2010:
      A death sentence for Kasab, seen to represent Pakistan, will be widely supported in a frenzy of righteous retribution. Presidential clemency is politically improbable.
  2. (law) A pardon, commutation, or similar reduction, removal, or postponement of legal penalties by an executive officer of a state.
  3. (now rare) Mildness of weather.

Related terms[edit]