em·​pa·​thize ˈem-pə-ˌthīz How to pronounce empathize (audio)
empathized; empathizing

intransitive verb

: to experience empathy
empathized with his son's fears
empathizer noun

Examples of empathize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Each day brings new evidence of its effects on people’s mental health, their physical health, their ability to learn, their ability to empathize, their ability to answer the world’s demands—and more reminders of the harm done when the need for rest goes unmet. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, 12 Oct. 2023 Adopt an attitude of kindness in which your go-to reaction to people is to give them the benefit of the doubt, empathize with them and seek ways to reach out with compassion. Tracy Brower, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023 While contemporary audiences may be more willing to believe that Elvis could have been a cruel husband, Coppola challenges them not just to pity his poor wife, imprisoned by luxury, but to empathize with her gradual recognition of her misery. Sonia Rao, Washington Post, 5 Nov. 2023 This detachment from the human stories behind statistics and headlines hinders our ability to empathize, advocate for change, and take meaningful action. Chanda Reynolds, Essence, 26 Oct. 2023 But outsiders who are not themselves immersed in pain should make an effort to empathize with all suffering humans, rather than lazily seeing only part of the terrible reality. TIME, 16 Oct. 2023 You, who heard the wink and humor in 'Blank Space' and maybe even empathized with the pain behind the satire. Ilana Kaplan, Peoplemag, 27 Oct. 2023 The most common suggestion was to speak up and empathize with employees—and to stay away from politics and social media. Peter Vanham, Fortune, 18 Oct. 2023 Most Israelis are psychologically incapable at this moment of empathizing with the Palestinians. TIME, 16 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'empathize.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1916, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of empathize was circa 1916

Dictionary Entries Near empathize

Cite this Entry

“Empathize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/empathize. Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Medical Definition


intransitive verb
variants or British empathise
empathized or British empathised; empathizing or British empathising
: to experience empathy
adults unable to empathize with a child's frustrations

More from Merriam-Webster on empathize

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