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MER'CI-FY, v.t.

To pity. [Not in use.] Spenser.


  1. Destitute of mercy; unfeeling; pitiless; hard-hearted; cruel; as, a merciless tyrant. Dryden.
  2. Not sparing; as, the merciless waves or tempest.


In a manner void of mercy or pity; cruelly.


Want of mercy or pity.

MER-CU'RI-AL, a. [From Mercury; L. mercurialis.]

  1. Formed under the influence of Mercury; active; sprightly; full of fire or vigor; as, a mercurial youth; a mercurial nation. Bacon. Swift.
  2. Pertaining to quicksilver; containing quicksilver, or consisting of mercury; as, mercurial preparations or medicines.
  3. Relating to Mercury as god of trade. The mercurial wand of commerce. J. Q. Adams.


One under the influence of Mercury, or one resembling Mercury in variety of character.


  1. To be humorous or fastastic. [Not in use.]
  2. In medicine, to affect the system with mercury.


In a mercurial manner.


Washed with a preparation of mercury.


  1. In metallurgic chimistry, the process or operation of obtaining the mercury from metallic minerals in its fluid form. Encyc.
  2. The act of mixing with quicksilver. Boyle.

MER-CU'RI-FY, v.t.

To obtain mercury from metallic minerals, which it is said may be done by a large lens, the intense heat of which expels the mercury in fumes, which are afterwards condensed. Encyc.

MER'CU-RY, n. [L. Mercurius. In mythology, Mercury is the god of eloquence and of commerce, called by the Greeks Hermes, and his name is said to be formed from merces, or mercor. But in antiquity, there were several persons or deities of this name.]

  1. Quicksilver, a metal remarkable for its fusibility, which is so great that to fix or congeal it, requires a degree of cold which is marked on Fahrenheit's scale at thirty-nine degrees below zero. Its specific gravity is greater than that of any other metal, except platinum, gold and tungsten. Under a heat of 660 degrees, it rises in fumes and is gradually converted into a red oxyd. Mercury is used in barometers to ascertain the weight of the atmosphere, and in thermometers to determine the temperature of the air, for which purposes it is well adapted by its expansibility, and the extensive range between its freezing and boiling points. Preparations of this metal are among the most powerful poisons, and are extensively used as medicines. The preparation called calomel, is a most efficacious deobstruent.
  2. Heat of constitutional temperament; spirit; sprightly qualities. Pope.
  3. A genus of plants, the Mercurialis, of several species.
  4. One of the planets nearest the sun. It is 3224 miles in diameter, and revolves round the sun in about 88 days. Its mean distance from the sun is thirty-seven millions of miles.
  5. The name of a newspaper or periodical publication, and in some places, the carrier of a newspaper or pamphlet.

MER'CU-RY, v.t.

To wash with a preparation of mercury. B. Jonson.


Wild saffron.

MER'CY, n. [Fr. merci; Norm. merce, meer or mers; supposed to be a contraction of L. misericordia. But qu. Eth. መሕረ mehera, to pity.]

  1. That benevolence, mildness or tenderness of heart which disposes a person to overlook injuries, or to treat an offender better than he deserves; the disposition that tempers justice, and induces an injured person to forgive trespasses and injuries, and to forbear punishment, or inflict less than law or justice will warrant. In this sense, there is perhaps no word in our language precisely synonymous with mercy. That which comes nearest to it is grace. It implies benevolence, tenderness, mildness, pity or compassion, and clemency, but exercised only toward offenders. Mercy is a distinguishing attribute of the Supreme Being. The Lord is long-suffering and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty. Num. xiv.
  2. An act or exercise of mercy or favor. It is a mercy that that they escaped. I am not worthy of the least of all thy mercies. Gen. xxxii.
  3. Pity; compassion manifested toward a person in distress. And he said, he that showed mercy on him. Luke x.
  4. Clemency and bounty. Mercy and truth preserve the king; and his throne is upheld by mercy. Prov. xxvii.
  5. Charity, or the duties of charity and benevolence. I will have mercy and not sacrifice. Matth. ix.
  6. Grace; favor. 1 Cor. vii. Jude 2.
  7. Eternal life, the fruit of mercy. 2 Tim. i.
  8. Pardon. I cry thee mercy with all my heart. Dryden.
  9. The act of sparing, or the forbearance of a violent act expected. The prisoner cried for mercy. To be or to lie at the mercy of, to have no means of self-defense, but to be dependent for safety on the mercy or compassion of another, or in the power of that which is irresistible; as, to be at the mercy of a foe, or of the waves.


The propitiatory; the covering of the ark of the covenant among the Jews. This was of gold, and its ends were fixed to two cherubs, whose wings extended forward, and formed a kind of throne for the majesty of God, who is represented in Scripture as sitting between the cherubs. It was from this seat that God gave his oracles to Moses, or to the high priest who consulted him. – Calmet.

MERD, n. [Fr. merde; L. merda.]

Ordure; dung. – Burton.

MERE, a. [L. merus; It. mero.]

  1. This or that only; distinct from any thing else. From mere success nothing can be concluded in favor of a nation. – Atterbury. What if the head, the eye or ear repin'd / To serve mere engines to the ruling mind? – Pope.
  2. Absolute; entire. – Spenser.

MERE, n.1 [Sax. mære or mere, a pool, lake, or the sea; D. meir; L. mare. See Moor.]

A pool or lake.

MERE, n.2 [Sax. mæra, gemæra; Gr. μειρω, to divide, or Russ. miryu, to measure.]

A boundary; used chiefly in the compound, mere-stone. – Bacon.

MERE, v.t.

To divide, limit or bound. [Obs.] – Spenser.

MERE-LY, adv.

Purely; only; solely; thus and no other way; for this and no other purpose. Prize not your life for other ends / Than merely to oblige your friends. – Swift.

MER-E-TRI'CIOUS, a. [L. meretricius, from meretrix, a prostitute.]

  1. Pertaining to prostitutes; such as is practiced by harlots; as, meretricious arts.
  2. Alluring by false show; worn for disguise; having a gaudy but deceitful appearance; false; as, meretricious dress or ornaments.


In the manner of prostitutes; with deceitful enticements.


The arts of a prostitute; deceitful enticements.