merciful

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English merciful, mercyful, equivalent to mercy +‎ -ful.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

merciful (comparative more merciful, superlative most merciful)

  1. Showing mercy.
    • 1887, H. Rider Haggard, She: A History of Adventure[1]:
      `Listen, Holly. Thou art a good and honest man, and I fain would spare thee; but, oh! it is so hard for woman to be merciful.'
    • 1900, Charles W. Chesnutt, The House Behind the Cedars, Chapter I,
      The murderer, he recalled, had been tried and sentenced to imprisonment for life, but was pardoned by a merciful governor after serving a year of his sentence.

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