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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Mercy \Mer"cy\ (m[~e]r"s[y^]), n.; pl. Mercies. [OE. merci, F. merci, L. merces, mercedis, hire, pay, reward, LL., equiv. to misericordia pity, mercy. L. merces is probably akin to merere to deserve, acquire. See Merit, and cf. Amerce.] 1. Forbearance to inflict harm under circumstances of provocation, when one has the power to inflict it; compassionate treatment of an offender or adversary; clemency. [1913 Webster] Examples of justice must be made for terror to some; examples of mercy for comfort to others. --Bacon. [1913 Webster] 2. Compassionate treatment of the unfortunate and helpless; sometimes, favor, beneficence. --Luke x. 37. [1913 Webster] 3. Disposition to exercise compassion or favor; pity; compassion; willingness to spare or to help. [1913 Webster] In whom mercy lacketh and is not founden. --Sir T. Elyot. [1913 Webster] 4. A blessing regarded as a manifestation of compassion or favor. [1913 Webster] The Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. --2 Cor. i. 3. [1913 Webster] Mercy seat (Bib.), the golden cover or lid of the Ark of the Covenant. See Ark, 2. Sisters of Mercy (R. C. Ch.),a religious order founded in Dublin in the year 1827. Communities of the same name have since been established in various American cities. The duties of those belonging to the order are, to attend lying-in hospitals, to superintend the education of girls, and protect decent women out of employment, to visit prisoners and the sick, and to attend persons condemned to death. To be at the mercy of, to be wholly in the power of. [1913 Webster] Syn: See Grace. [1913 Webster]