- Forbearance to inflict harm under circumstances of provocation, when one has the power to inflict it; compassionate treatment of an offender or adversary; clemency."Examples of justice must be made for terror to some; examples of mercy for comfort to others." [Bacon.]
- Compassionate treatment of the unfortunate and helpless; sometimes, favor, beneficence.
- Disposition to exercise compassion or favor; pity; compassion; willingness to spare or to help."In whom mercy lacketh and is not founden." [Sir T. Elyot.]
- A blessing regarded as a manifestation of compassion or favor."The Father of mercies and the God of all comfort." [2 Cor. i. 3.]synonyms: See Grace.
Etymology: OE. merci, F. merci, L. merces mercedis, hire, pay, reward, LL., equiv. to misericordia pity, mercy. L. merces is probably akin to merere to deserve, acquire. See Merit, and cf. Amerce