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empathy

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noun em·pa·thy \ˈem-pə-thē\

Simple Definition of empathy

  • : the feeling that you understand and share another person's experiences and emotions : the ability to share someone else's feelings

Full Definition of empathy

  1. 1 :  the imaginative projection of a subjective state into an object so that the object appears to be infused with it

  2. 2 :  the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner; also :  the capacity for this

Examples of empathy

  1. Poetic empathy understandably seeks a strategy of identification with victims … —Helen Vendler, New Republic, 5 May 2003

  2. This is tough love with a vengeance, but what a gruesome view of God's saints bereft of all empathy. —Sidney Callahan, Commonweal, 19 Apr. 2002

  3. Enter a new inmate … a giant black man with a gift of preternatural empathy; he can literally suck the pain out of people. —Richard Corliss, Time, 13 Dec. 1999

  4. But in all those years of young womanhood, my Do-Unto-Others empathy never extended beyond sharing a trolley seat. —Lois Mark Stalvey, The Education of a WASP, 1989

  5. He felt great empathy with the poor.

  6. His months spent researching prison life gave him greater empathy towards convicts.



Origin of empathy

Greek empatheia, literally, passion, from empathēs emotional, from em- + pathos feelings, emotion — more at pathos


First Known Use: 1850


EMPATHY Defined for Kids

empathy

play
noun em·pa·thy \ˈem-pə-thē\

Definition of empathy

  1. :  the understanding and sharing of the emotions and experiences of another person <He has great empathy toward the poor.>




Medical Dictionary

empathy

play
noun em·pa·thy \ˈem-pə-thē\

Medical Definition of empathy

plural em·pa·thies

  1. 1:  the imaginative projection of a subjective state into an object so that the object appears to be infused with it

  2. 2:  the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner; also :  the capacity for empathy





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