Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

pity

play
noun \ˈpi-tē\

Simple Definition of pity

  • : a strong feeling of sadness or sympathy for someone or something

  • : something that causes sadness or disappointment

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of pity

plural pities

  1. 1 a :  sympathetic sorrow for one suffering, distressed, or unhappy b :  capacity to feel pity

  2. 2 :  something to be regretted <it's a pity you can't go>

Examples of pity in a sentence

  1. She has had a hard life and deserves your pity.

  2. I felt deep pity for the lost dog.

  3. He didn't live to see his daughter grow up, and that's a pity.



Origin of pity

Middle English pite, from Anglo-French pité, from Latin pietat-, pietas piety, pity, from pius pious


First Known Use: 13th century

Synonym Discussion of pity

pity, compassion, commiseration, condolence, sympathy mean the act or capacity for sharing the painful feelings of another. pity implies tender or sometimes slightly contemptuous sorrow for one in misery or distress <felt pity for the captives>. compassion implies pity coupled with an urgent desire to aid or to spare <treats the homeless with great compassion>. commiseration suggests pity expressed outwardly in exclamations, tears, or words of comfort <murmurs of commiseration filled the loser's headquarters>. condolence applies chiefly to formal expression of grief to one who has suffered loss <expressed their condolences to the widow>. sympathy often suggests a tender concern but can also imply a power to enter into another's emotional experience of any sort <went to my best friend for sympathy> <in sympathy with her desire to locate her natural parents>.

Rhymes with pity


2

pity

verb

Simple Definition of pity

  • : to feel pity for (someone or something) : to feel sorry for (someone or something)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of pity

pitiedpitying

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to feel pity for

  3. intransitive verb
  4. :  to feel pity

Examples of pity in a sentence

  1. I pity anyone who has to work at that place.

  2. <I always pity the people who have to work in this freezing weather.>



15th Century

First Known Use of pity

15th century



PITY Defined for Kids

1

pity

play
noun \ˈpi-tē\

Definition of pity for Students

  1. 1 :  a feeling of sadness or sympathy for the suffering or unhappiness of others

  2. 2 :  something that causes regret or disappointment <What a pity that you can't go.>




2

pity

play
verb

Definition of pity for Students

pitiedpitying

  1. :  to feel sadness and sympathy for





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up pity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

the Celtic May Day festival

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

oily angry maudlin prompt
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ