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leniency (noun) mild and not so strict in punishment or in enforcing rules.

When you show leniency you are not very strict in punishing people for their misconduct, or in enforcing rules. An appeal for leniency to a judge is an appeal to them for a less severe punishment. Not being as severe as is expected is leniency.

  • The attorney appealed to the judge for leniency in the punishment of the prisoner, in view of his old age, and in consideration of his bad health. The judge accepted the request and reduced his term of imprisonment.
  • If those in authority show leniency, people under them are very likely to take advantage of it, and become negligent in their duty, as they have no fear of harsh punishment.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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