compassionate

adjective
com·​pas·​sion·​ate | \ kəm-ˈpa-sh(ə-)nət How to pronounce compassionate (audio) \

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 How to pronounce compassionate (audio) \
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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Socialism is not cuddly or compassionate, and it has been tried many times, to ruinous effect. John Fund, National Review, "The Berlin Wall Is Gone, but Its Lessons Remain," 10 Nov. 2019 Try to be compassionate and patient, and encourage her to seek professional help. cleveland, "Dear Annie: I’m tired of not having people visit because my wife is a hoarder," 9 Nov. 2019 Harlan had angry, but also compassionate, words for the thief. NBC News, "Thief steals about $5,000 from Florida newlyweds at their wedding reception," 6 Nov. 2019 Jesse, on the other hand, was compassionate, but always uncertain of his decency. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "El Camino Lives Up to the Legacy of Breaking Bad," 11 Oct. 2019 The hospital staff was wonderful and compassionate, answering all my questions and concerns. Lourdes Maruri, orlandosentinel.com, "Lourdes Maruri’s Survival Story," 23 Sep. 2019 The people there are so compassionate, so culturally competent. Glenn Nelson, The Seattle Times, "Battle for ‘soul’ of Seattle’s Japanese American community as Keiro Northwest nursing home closes," 16 Sep. 2019 Each dedicated and committed associate that crossed Donna's path, took care of her in a compassionate, kind and loving manner. courant.com, "Donna O. Merrill," 8 Sep. 2019 Alexandra joked that maybe some compassionate mountain god would notice their state and sort them out with a piece of butter or fat. Ailsa Ross, Longreads, "Mountains, Transcending," 9 Aug. 2019 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about compassionate

Statistics for compassionate

Last Updated

16 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for compassionate

The first known use of compassionate was in 1579

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for compassionate

compassionate

adjective
How to pronounce compassionate (audio)

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 How to pronounce compassionate (audio) \

Kids Definition of compassionate

: having or showing pity for and desire to help someone

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on compassionate

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

WORD OF THE DAY

strength of mind

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • pasta resembling wheels with spokes
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!