Brother Andrew was a lenient teacherSyn:merciful, clement, forgiving, forbearing, tolerant, charitable, humane, indulgent, easygoing, magnanimous, sympathetic, compassionate, mildSee note at mercyAnt:severe••lenient, forbearing, indulgent, lax, merciful, permissiveNot all parents approach discipline in the same way. Someone who is lenient is willing to lower his or her standards of strictness when it comes to imposing discipline (the principal was lenient with the students who had been caught playing hooky). A parent who is forbearing struggles against giving in to negative feelings and is therefore able to abstain from hasty or ill-tempered actions, no matter what the provocation (her father's forbearing attitude meant that she escaped with only a lecture). Indulgent goes beyond forbearing and suggests catering to someone's whims (an indulgent parent who seldom denied her child anything). Lax is a negative kind of leniency involving laziness or indifference (a lax mother who never imposed a curfew), while merciful suggests a relaxing of standards on the basis of compassion (a merciful mother who understood her daughter's anger). To be permissive is also to be extremely lenient — an approach that connotes tolerance to the point of passivity (the children's utter disregard for the rules was the result of their permissive upbringing).
Thesaurus of popular words. 2014.