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lēnĭtas, ātis, f. [1. lenis], softness, smoothness, gentleness, mildness.

I. Lit.: vini, opp. asperitas, Plin. 14, 19, 24, 120: lini, id. 13, 12, 26, 82: Arar in Rhodanum influit incredibili lenitate, slowness, Caes. B. G. 1, 12: vocis, mildness, Cic. de Or. 2, 43, 182: smaragdi viridis lenitas, delicate green, Plin. 37, 5, 16, 63.—

II. Trop.

A. In gen., mildness, gentleness, tenderness, lenity: non est jam lenitati locus, severitatem res ipsa flagitat, Cic. Cat. 2, 4, 6: dare se ad lenitatem, id. Fam. 13, 1, 4: animi, with mollitia, id. Sull. 6, 18: animadvertendi, id. Part. Or. 22, 78: legum, id. Rab. Perd. 3, 10: remissa nimis lenitate uti, Gell. 11, 18, 6.—

B. In partic., of speech: elaborant alii in lenitate et aequabilitate, et puro quasi quodam et candido genere dicendi, Cic. Or. 16, 53: lenitas ejus sine nervis perspici potest, id. Brut. 48, 177: genus orationis cum lenitate quadam aequabili profluens, id. de Or. 2, 15, 64.