Definition of lenient in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈlēnēənt/


1(Of punishment or a person in authority) permissive, merciful, or tolerant: judges were far too lenient with petty criminals
More example sentences
  • Lewis was banned from boxing after his act and for many, that punishment was too lenient.
  • He was always easygoing but not too lenient and he was always sweet but not sickeningly mushy.
  • There is no need for them to be lenient, nor are they expected to close their eyes to evil practices.
merciful, clement, forgiving, forbearing, tolerant, charitable, humane, indulgent, easygoing, magnanimous, sympathetic, compassionate, mild
2 archaic Emollient.



Pronunciation: /ˈlēnēəntlē/
Example sentences
  • However, Kansas law treats underage heterosexual sex more leniently than underage homosexual sex.
  • Technically he is out of the 2001 championship, but he is likely to be treated leniently by the Executive at tonight's meeting.
  • The speed limit is generally leniently enforced, and pilots are often allowed to travel faster to relieve possible congestion on runways.


Mid 17th century (in sense 2): from Latin lenient- 'soothing', from the verb lenire, from lenis 'mild, gentle'.

Words that rhyme with lenient

convenient, intervenient, prevenient

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: le·ni·ent

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