mercy(redirected from mercies)
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Related to mercies: Tender Mercies
at (someone's) mercy
Under the control of or dictated by the actions of someone else, without the ability to defend or liberate oneself. Please don't report me to the head master. I'm at your mercy! Once the gangsters were able to blackmail Susan, she was at their mercy.
See also: mercy
for mercy's sake
A mild oath of surprise, exasperation, annoyance, frustration, or anger. For mercy's sake! I haven't seen you in years! Would you let me finish my story, for mercy's sake? Oh for mercy's sake, I just had the car fixed and now you've put a dent in it!
See also: sake
give thanks for small mercies
To appreciate small or minor benefits, advantages, or opportunities one is afforded, particularly in the midst of an otherwise difficult, frustrating, or unfortunate situation or circumstance. My car's air conditioning stopped working two hours into my cross-country road trip across America. The radio still works, though, so I suppose I should give thanks for small mercies. Our son's accident left him without the use of his right eye; we're just giving thanks for small mercies that he still has the use of his left one.
be thankful for small mercies
To appreciate small or minor benefits, advantages, or opportunities one is afforded, particularly in the midst of an otherwise difficult, frustrating, or unfortunate situation or circumstance. My car's air conditioning stopped working two hours into my cross-country road trip across America. The radio still works, though, so I guess I should be thankful for small mercies. Our son's accident left him without the use of his right eye; we're just thankful for small mercies that he still has the use of his left one.
vulgar slang An act of sexual intercourse between two people, one of whom pities the other.
at the mercy of someoneand at someone's mercy
Fig. under the control of someone; without defense against someone. We were left at the mercy of the arresting officer. Mrs. Franklin wanted Mr. Franklin at her mercy.
throw oneself at the mercy of some authorityand throw oneself on the mercy of some authority; throw oneself (up)on someone's mercy
Fig. to seek mercy from a court of law, especially at one's sentencing for a crime; to seek help from an official or institution. He pleaded guilty and threw himself at the mercy of the court. It did no good to throw myself on the mercy of the State Department. Please don't! I throw myself upon your mercy!
throw oneself on the mercy of
some authority Go to throw oneself at the mercy of some authority.
at the mercy of somebody/somethingalso at somebody's/something's mercy
unable to protect yourself from someone or something The entire movie business is at the mercy of teenage moviegoers. If you're not legally employed, you're at your employer's mercy.
leave somebody to somebody's tender mercies(humorous)
to let someone be dealt with by another person who is not likely to show them any kindness or sympathy Should I have a word with her myself or leave her to Mick's tender mercies?
be at the mercy of something/somebody
to be in a situation in which you cannot do anything to protect yourself from something or someone unpleasant Poor people are increasingly at the mercy of money-lenders. Of course, in a tent, you're at the mercy of the elements.See throw on mercy
be grateful/thankful for small mercies
if someone should be grateful for small mercies, they should feel grateful that something good has happened, although it is not everything that they wanted They've agreed to end the meeting half an hour early. I suppose we should be thankful for small mercies.
throw yourself on/upon somebody's mercy
to ask someone to help you or to forgive you when you are in a difficult situation If all else fails, I might throw myself on Sandra's mercy and see if she'll drive me there.
at the mercy of
1. Also, at someone's mercy. Subject to the power of, helpless against, as in The captured rebels were at the mercy of the army commander. [Late 1500s]
2. Without any protection against, as in On top of Mount Washington we were at the mercy of the elements. [Late 1600s]
leave to someone's tender mercies
Submit to another's power or discretion, especially to an unsympathetic individual. Today this expression is always used ironically, as in We left him to the tender mercies of that stiff-necked, arrogant nurse. It alludes to a biblical passage (Proverbs 12:10): "A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast; but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel."
at the mercy of
Without any protection against; helpless before: drifting in an open boat, at the mercy of the elements.