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misericord

[miz-er-i-kawrd, mi-zer-i-kawrd] /ˌmɪz ər ɪˈkɔrd, mɪˈzɛr ɪˌkɔrd/
noun
1.
a room in a monastery set apart for those monks permitted relaxation of the monastic rule.
2.
Also, subsellium. a small projection on the underside of a hinged seat of a church stall, which, when the seat is lifted, gives support to a person standing in the stall.
3.
a medieval dagger, used for the mercy stroke to a wounded foe.
Also, misericorde.
Origin
1200-1250
1200-50; Middle English misericorde literally, pity, mercy, an act of clemency < Middle French < Latin misericordia pity, equivalent to misericord- (stem of misericors) compassionate (miseri-, stem of miserēre to pity + cord- stem of cor heart) + -ia -y3
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for misericorde

misericord

/mɪˈzɛrɪˌkɔːd/
noun
1.
a ledge projecting from the underside of the hinged seat of a choir stall in a church, on which the occupant can support himself while standing
2.
(Christianity)
  1. a relaxation of certain monastic rules for infirm or aged monks or nuns
  2. a monastery where such relaxations can be enjoyed
3.
a small medieval dagger used to give the death stroke to a wounded foe
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, from Latin misericordia compassion, from miserēre to pity + cor heart
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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