compassionate

adjective
com·pas·sion·ate | \ kəm-ˈpa-sh(ə-)nət \

Definition of compassionate 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having or showing compassion : sympathetic a compassionate friend a compassionate smile

2 : granted because of unusual distressing circumstances affecting an individual used of some military privileges (such as leave) The soldier was granted compassionate leave following the death of his father.

compassionate

verb
com·pas·sion·ate | \ kəm-ˈpa-shə-ˌnāt \
compassionated; compassionating

Definition of compassionate (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: pity … even compassionating those who hold in bondage their fellow men … —John Quincy Adams

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Other words from compassionate

Adjective

compassionately adverb
compassionateness noun

Examples of compassionate in a Sentence

Adjective

a compassionate person by nature a compassionate smile made the refugees feel a little better

Verb

a gentle soul who could compassionate even the most reprobate of scoundrels and villains
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The film, directed by Roland Vranik from a script by Mr. Vranik and Ivan Szabo, is a careful, compassionate and beautifully acted character drama with a social conscience. Iván Szabó, New York Times, "Review: In ‘The Citizen,’ an Immigrant Picks a Bad Time to Fall in Love," 5 July 2018 Chris is nothing but loving and compassionate and is the only person who has stood by me, never judged me, helped me heal and feel whole. Hilary Lewis, The Hollywood Reporter, "Jacinda Barrett Defends Ex-Boyfriend Chris Hardwick Amid Misconduct Scandal," 26 June 2018 Stevon Campbell, Campbell's cousin, urged young men and women to lead more compassionate lives. Holly V. Hays, Indianapolis Star, "'This is devastating to our family': Shooting victim's family prays for end to gun violence," 29 June 2018 Radha’s physicians followed Shire’s protocol for applying for compassionate use exactly as directed on the company’s website. Vibhav Rangarajan, STAT, "The ‘cruel joke’ of compassionate use and right to try: Pharma companies don’t have to comply," 5 June 2018 An addict’s regrets are seldom as strong as his cravings, and the film is a compassionate, apolitical glimpse into the chasm between the two. Jeffrey Fleishman, latimes.com, "Documentary films explore the despair of America's heroin and opioid epidemic," 6 July 2018 In Kevin Macdonald’s captivating documentary, Whitney, the Oscar-winning director casts a compassionate, but unsparing eye on the multiple Grammy winner, who died in 2012 at 48. Melinda Newman, Billboard, "'Whitney' Director Kevin Macdonald on Capturing Houston's Magical Rise and Tragic Fall," 3 July 2018 Our leaders, are compassionate, understanding, kind, generous but also innovative, knowledgeable and supportive. Fortune, "New American Funding," 26 June 2018 Satirical and ultimately compassionate, the play centers on the widowed Ed (Tom Skerritt) and his three adult sons, home for the holidays. Adam Green, Vogue, "Armie Hammer on Making His Broadway Debut and Reckoning with Toxic Masculinity," 19 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

At age 49, the Juilliard graduate, who can easily transform from menacing mob boss to compassionate father with a mere expression change, is having the kind of year an actor can only dream about. Nicole Sperling, HWD, "Michael Stuhlbarg Is This Awards Season’s Most Valuable Player," 12 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'compassionate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of compassionate

Adjective

1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1592, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for compassionate

Adjective

see compassion

Verb

see compassion

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Phrases Related to compassionate

compassionate leave

Statistics for compassionate

Last Updated

21 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for compassionate

The first known use of compassionate was in 1579

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More Definitions for compassionate

compassionate

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of compassionate

: feeling or showing concern for someone who is sick, hurt, poor, etc. : having or showing compassion

compassionate

adjective
com·pas·sion·ate | \ kəm-ˈpa-shə-nət \

Kids Definition of compassionate

: having or showing pity for and desire to help someone

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Comments on compassionate

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