Why was clemency trending last week?


[pit-i-lis, pit-ee-] /ˈpɪt ɪ lɪs, ˈpɪt i-/
feeling or showing no pity; merciless:
pitiless criticism of his last novel.
Origin of pitiless
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English piteles. See pity, -less
Related forms
pitilessly, adverb
pitilessness, noun
Can be confused
piteous, pitiable, pitiful, pitiless (see synonym study at pitiful)
unmerciful, implacable, relentless. See cruel.
merciful. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for pitiless
  • In the wink of an eye, insomnia slips from thought to obsession, from earnest doubt to pitiless masochism and misanthropy.
  • But this crisis has shone a pitiless light on that failure.
  • It arose-arises-from his willingness to devote real time to the pitiless search for the apt resonance.
  • Yet our pitiless political system tends to reward those who eat a consistently bland diet.
  • He used it to find his way to an even starker abbreviation of a pitiless world.
  • The pitiless nature of these charlatans is almost beyond belief.
  • His work on them is a masterpiece of pitiless satire.
  • The sky was sapphire, the sun splendid and pitiless, the heat sweltering.
  • It loomed before us gaunt and alone in the pitiless clear light.
British Dictionary definitions for pitiless


having or showing little or no pity or mercy
Derived Forms
pitilessly, adverb
pitilessness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pitiless

early 15c., from pity + -less. Related: Pitilessly; pitilessness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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