[lee-nee-uhnt, leen-yuhnt]
agreeably tolerant; permissive; indulgent: He tended to be lenient toward the children. More lenient laws encouraged greater freedom of expression.
Archaic. softening, soothing, or alleviative.

1645–55; < Latin lēnient- (stem of lēniēns), present participle of lēnīre to soften, alleviate, soothe. See lenis, -ent

leniently, adverb
superlenient, adjective
superleniently, adverb
unlenient, adjective
unleniently, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To leniently
World English Dictionary
lenient (ˈliːnɪənt)
1.  showing or characterized by mercy or tolerance
2.  archaic caressing or soothing
[C17: from Latin lēnīre to soothe, from lēnis soft]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

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 base *le(i)- "to leave, yield" (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, attested from 1540s of medicines, 1610s of persons.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Some commenters here say that part-time faculty grade more leniently.
In the past, for example, it was common practice to treat leniently felony drug arrestees who had no prior arrests or convictions.
Those of higher rank however, will not be treated more leniently due to their rank.
The statute proscribes two potential penalties, treating possessors and users more leniently than designers and builders.
Related Words
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature