Dictionary

sympathy

noun sym·pa·thy \ˈsim-pə-thē\

: the feeling that you care about and are sorry about someone else's trouble, grief, misfortune, etc. : a sympathetic feeling

: a feeling of support for something

: a state in which different people share the same interests, opinions, goals, etc.

plural sym·pa·thies

Full Definition of SYMPATHY

1
a :  an affinity, association, or relationship between persons or things wherein whatever affects one similarly affects the other
b :  mutual or parallel susceptibility or a condition brought about by it
c :  unity or harmony in action or effect <every part is in complete sympathy with the scheme as a whole — Edwin Benson>
2
a :  inclination to think or feel alike :  emotional or intellectual accord <in sympathy with their goals>
b :  feeling of loyalty :  tendency to favor or support <republican sympathies>
3
a :  the act or capacity of entering into or sharing the feelings or interests of another
b :  the feeling or mental state brought about by such sensitivity <have sympathy for the poor>
4
:  the correlation existing between bodies capable of communicating their vibrational energy to one another through some medium
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Examples of SYMPATHY

  1. She went to her best friend for sympathy.
  2. Letters of sympathy were sent to the families of the victims.
  3. My deepest sympathies go out to the families of the victims.
  4. Our sympathies are with them.
  5. There was no sympathy between them.

Origin of SYMPATHY

Latin sympathia, from Greek sympatheia, from sympathēs having common feelings, sympathetic, from syn- + pathos feelings, emotion, experience — more at pathos
First Known Use: 1579

Synonym Discussion of SYMPATHY

attraction, affinity, sympathy mean the relationship existing between things or persons that are naturally or involuntarily drawn together. attraction implies the possession by one thing of a quality that pulls another to it <felt an attraction to danger>. affinity implies a susceptibility or predisposition on the part of the one drawn <an affinity for mathematics>. sympathy implies a reciprocal or natural relation between two things that are both susceptible to the same influence <two minds in sympathy>.

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>.
SYMPATHIES Defined for Kids

sympathy

noun sym·pa·thy \ˈsim-pə-thē\
plural sym·pa·thies

Definition of SYMPATHY for Kids

1
:  sorrow or pity for another <She felt sympathy for the poor lost puppy.>
2
:  readiness to favor or support <He expressed sympathy for the protesters.>
3
:  a relationship between people or things in which whatever affects one similarly affects the other
Medical Dictionary

sympathy

noun sym·pa·thy \ˈsim-pə-thē\
plural sym·pa·thies

Medical Definition of SYMPATHY

1
a :  an affinity, association, or relationship between persons or things wherein whatever affects one similarly affects the other b :  mutual or parallel susceptibility or a condition brought about by it
2
a :  the act or capacity of entering into or sharing the feelings or interests of another b :  the feeling or mental state brought about by such sensitivity

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