Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “lenient”

See all translations

lenient

adjective uk   /ˈliː.ni.ənt/ us  
C2 not as severe or strong in punishment or judgment as would be expected: They believe that judges are too lenient with terrorist suspects. In view of the quantity of drugs involved, 16 years was the most lenient sentence (= punishment) the judge could impose.
leniency
noun [U] uk   /-ən.si/ us  
The defending lawyer asked for leniency on the grounds of her client's youth.
leniently
adverb uk   /-li/ us  
He said senior officials caught in ethical lapses were treated more leniently than junior employees.
(Definition of lenient from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of lenient?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “lenient” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

christmassy

typical of Christmas, or happy because it is Christmas

Word of the Day

Cleavage proves divisive in Cambridge’s words of 2014

by Alastair Horne,
December 19, 2014
​​​​ Other dictionaries may choose faddish novelties as their words of the year, but here at Cambridge, we like to do something different. We look for the words that have seen sudden surges in searches over the course of the year – words that have been baffling users of English and driven them

Read More 

cinderella surgery noun

December 15, 2014
cosmetic surgery to the feet We have all heard of people having nose jobs, boob jobs and liposuction – but now a new trend growing in popularity in America: Cinderella surgery.

Read More