Meaning of “lenient” in the English Dictionary

"lenient" in British English

See all translations

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

See all translations

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)