- The definition of lenient is someone who is not strict or a punishment that is not severe.
An example of something that would be described as lenient is a jail sentence of one day for armed robbery.
lenient definition by Webster's New World
- not harsh or severe in disciplining, punishing, judging, etc.; mild; merciful; clement
- Archaic soothing
Origin: Classical Latin leniens, present participle of lenire, to soften, alleviate ; from lenis, smooth, soft, mild ; from Indo-European base an unverified form leī-: see late
lenient definition by American Heritage Dictionary
Origin: Obsolete French, from Latin lēniēns, lēnient-, present participle of lēnīre, to pacify, from lēnis, soft; see lē- in Indo-European roots.
- leˈni·ent·ly adverb