lenient Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
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Meaning of “lenient” in the English Dictionary

"lenient" in British English

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lenientadjective

uk   /ˈliː.ni.ənt/ us   /ˈliː.ni.ənt/
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   /ˈliː.ni.ən.si/ us   /ˈliː.ni.ən.si/
The defending lawyer asked for leniency on the grounds of her client's youth.
leniently
adverb uk   /ˈliː.ni.ənt.li/ us   /ˈliː.ni.ənt.li/
He said senior officials caught in ethical lapses were treated more leniently than junior employees.
(Definition of lenient from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"lenient" in American English

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lenientadjective

us   /ˈlin·jənt/
not as severe or strong in punishment or judgment as would be expected: Some felt that five years in prison was lenient, considering the suffering he had caused.
leniency
noun [U] us   /ˈlin·jən·si/
The defense lawyer asked for leniency for her young client.
leniently
adverb us   /ˈlin·jənt·li/
He said senior officials caught in ethical lapses were treated more leniently than junior employees.
(Definition of lenient from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“lenient” in British English

“lenient” in American English

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Avoiding common errors with the word enough.
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