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From Latin clēmentia.


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


clemency (countable and uncountable, plural clemencies)

  1. The gentle or kind exercise of power; leniency, mercy; compassion in judging or punishing.
  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.
    • 1748, Edward Chamberlayne, chapter IV, in Magnae Britanniae notitia: or, the present state of Great Britain. With diverse reflections upon the ancient state thereof, London: Printed for S. Birt, T. Longman, T. Shewel, [] , →OCLC, page 31:
      Now of all theſe Things there is ſuch a conſtant Continuance, by reaſon of the Clemency of the Climate, that ſcarce the leaſt Famine, which frequenteth other Countries, hath been felt in England theſe 400 Years.
    • 1750 April 14, Samuel Johnson, “No. 5. Tuesday, April 3. 1750 [Julian calendar].”, in The Rambler, 2nd edition, volume I, Edinburgh: [] Sands, Murray, and Cochran; sold by W. Gordon, C. Wright, J. Yair, [], published 1751, →OCLC, page 36:
      The variegated verdure of the fields and woods, the ſucceſſion of grateful odours, the voice of pleaſure pouring out its notes on every ſide, with the gladneſs apparently conceived by every animal, from the growth of his food, and the clemency of the weather, throw over the whole earth an air of gaiety, ſigniſicantly expreſſed by the ſmile of nature.
    • 1853 January, Currer Bell [pseudonym; Charlotte Brontë], “The Long Vacation”, in Villette. [], volume I, London: Smith, Elder & Co., [], →OCLC, page 316:
      It rained still, and blew; but with more clemency, I thought, than it had poured and raged all day.


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