1. graded adjective & adjective If you describe God or a person in a position of authority as merciful, you mean that they show kindness and forgiveness to people. ⇒ ...a merciful God. ⇒ We can only hope the court is merciful. 2. graded adjective & adjective If you describe an event or situation as merciful, you mean that it is a good thing, especially because it stops someone's suffering or discomfort. ⇒ We were told when he was taken to hospital that his injuries were so severe death would be merciful. ⇒ Eventually the session came to a merciful end.
COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary. Copyright © Harper Collins Publishers