Why was clemency trending last week?
late 14c., seintefie "to consecrate," from Old French saintefier "sanctify" (12c., Modern French sanctifier), from Late Latin sanctificare "to make holy," from sanctus "holy" (see saint (n.)) + root of facere "to make" (see factitious). Form altered in English c.1400 to conform with Latin. Meaning "to render holy or legitimate by religious sanction" is from c.1400; transferred sense of "to render worthy of respect" is from c.1600. Related: Sanctified; sanctifying.