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2 definitions found

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Mer·ci·ful a.
 1. Full of mercy; having or exercising mercy; disposed to pity and spare offenders; unwilling to punish.  Opposite of merciless.
    The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious.   --Ex. xxxiv. 6.
    Be merciful, great duke, to men of mold.   --Shak.
 2. Unwilling to give pain; compassionate.
    A merciful man will be merciful to his beast.   --Old Proverb.
 Syn: -- Compassionate; tender; humane; gracious; kind; mild; clement; benignant.
 -- Mer*ci*ful*ly, adv. -- Mer*ci*ful*ness, n.

From: WordNet (r) 2.0

      n 1: the feeling that motivates compassion [syn: mercy]
      2: a disposition to be kind and forgiving; "in those days a
         wife had to depend on the mercifulness of her husband"
         [syn: mercy] [ant: mercilessness]
      3: leniency and compassion shown toward offenders by a person
         or agency charged with administering justice; "he threw
         himself on the mercy of the court" [syn: clemency, mercy]