Definition of lenient adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈliːniənt//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈliːniənt//
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not as strict as expected when punishing somebody or when making sure that rules are obeyed a lenient sentence/fine The judge was far too lenient with him. Word Originmid 17th cent. (originally meaning mild or soothing): from Latin lenient- ‘soothing’, from the verb lenire, from lenis ‘mild, gentle’.Extra examples The police are sometimes more lenient with female offenders. He hoped that a lenient view would be taken of his misconduct. The judge agreed that the sentence was unduly lenient. The police and courts may be more lenient with female offenders.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: lenient