- 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.
- not harsh or severe in disciplining, punishing, judging, etc.; mild; merciful; clement
- Archaic soothing
Origin of lenientClassical Latin leniens, present participle of lenire, to soften, alleviate ; from lenis, smooth, soft, mild ; from Indo-European base an unverified form leī-: see late
- Inclined not to be harsh or strict; merciful or indulgent: lenient parents.
- Not harsh or strict; merciful or generous: lenient rules.
Origin of lenientObsolete French, from Latin lēniēns, lēnient-, present participle of lēnīre, to pacify, from lēnis, soft; see lē- in Indo-European roots.
(comparative more lenient, superlative most lenient)
From Latin lēniens, present participle of lēnīre (“to soften, soothe”), from lēnis (“soft”).