- mercy [mʉr′sē]n.pl. mercies [OFr merci < L merces, hire, payment, reward (in LL, mercy, pity, favor) < merx, wares: see MARKET]1. a refraining from harming or punishing offenders, enemies, persons in one's power, etc.; kindness in excess of what may be expected or demanded by fairness; forbearance and compassion2. imprisonment rather than the death penalty imposed on those found guilty of capital crimes3. a disposition to forgive, pity, or be kind4. the power to forgive or be kind; clemency [to throw oneself on the mercy of the court]5. kind or compassionate treatment; relief of suffering6. a fortunate thing; thing to be grateful for; blessing [a mercy he wasn't killed]interj.used to express surprise, annoyance, fear, etc.——————at the mercy ofcompletely in the power ofSYN.- MERCY implies a kindness or forbearance, as in punishing offenders, in excess of what may be demanded by fairness, or it may connote kindness and sympathy to those in distress; CLEMENCY refers to a tendency toward mercy in one whose duty it is to punish offenders; LENITY usually implies excessive mercy or mildness toward offenders where greater strictness might be preferable; CHARITY, in this connection, implies a kindly understanding and tolerance in judging others-ANT. SEVERITY, CRUELTY
English World dictionary. V. Neufeldt. 2014.