noun com·pas·sion \kəm-ˈpa-shən\

: a feeling of wanting to help someone who is sick, hungry, in trouble, etc.

Full Definition of COMPASSION

:  sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it
com·pas·sion·less \-ləs\ adjective

Examples of COMPASSION

  1. He felt compassion for the lost child.
  2. She shows compassion to the sick.
  3. She had the compassion to offer help when it was needed most.
  4. Take away all the qualities that make for a genuinely good father—wisdom, compassion, even temper, selflessness—and what you have left is Homer Simpson with his pure, mindless, dogged devotion to his family. —Paul A. Cantor, Gilligan Unbound, 2001


Middle English, from Anglo-French or Late Latin; Anglo-French, from Late Latin compassion-, compassio, from compati to sympathize, from Latin com- + pati to bear, suffer — more at patient
First Known Use: 14th century


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