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

Definition of empathize

intransitive verb

: to experience empathy empathized with his son's fears

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Other Words from empathize

empathizer \ ˈem-​pə-​ˌthī-​zər How to pronounce empathizer (audio) \ noun

Examples of empathize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The experiences of his childhood gave him the drive to succeed, to empathize with those less fortunate and to place a value on education because of his lack of a formal education. Jacques Kelly, baltimoresun.com, "Melvin Greenwald, downtown parking firm co-owner, dies," 8 June 2019 Any animal that can recognize itself in a mirror, Gallup thinks, can potentially recognize that others have their own minds and even empathize with them. Quanta Magazine, "A ‘Self-Aware’ Fish Raises Doubts About a Cognitive Test," 12 Dec. 2018 Rick Tocchet empathizes with Chara after an errant shot by Pittsburgh Penguins teammate Mario Lemieux in 1992 cracked him in the jaw. Stephen Whyno, SFChronicle.com, "In NHL, broken jaw doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to sit," 7 June 2019 When an outsider joins the ranks of our friends or colleagues, empathizing with them aligns with that goal. K.n.c., The Economist, "How to increase empathy and unite society," 7 June 2019 Identifying as a vegan Argentinian has allowed me to acknowledge and further empathize with my ancestors and their oneness with the earth. Amy Quichiz, SELF, "10 Vegans of Color on What Being Vegan Means to Them," 6 Jan. 2019 Most in the media live in or near large, progressive cities, have college degrees, empathize with the left and embrace a mythical divide that puts themselves on the right (left) side of history. WSJ, "‘Divided America’ Myth Strokes Elite Egos," 1 Jan. 2019 Family members said Walker had a special interest in emotional intelligence, believing that traditional measures of intelligence such as IQ tests fall short of reflecting the ability of people to empathize and connect with others. Graydon Megan, chicagotribune.com, "Ronald Walker, psychology teacher and dean at Loyola University, dies," 12 June 2018 In this edition, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Christine Darden come to life on the page through bright illustrations and creative facial expressions that young children certainly can empathize with. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Without question, these are 2018’s best space books for kids," 29 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'empathize.' 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 empathize

circa 1916, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for empathize

Last Updated

28 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for empathize

The first known use of empathize was circa 1916

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More Definitions for empathize



English Language Learners Definition of empathize

: to have the same feelings as another person : to feel empathy for someone


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

Kids Definition of empathize

: to share the same feelings as another person : to feel empathy I empathize with your situation.


intransitive verb
variants: or British empathise \ ˈem-​pə-​ˌthīz How to pronounce empathise (audio) \
empathized or British empathised; empathizing or British empathising

Medical Definition of empathize

: to experience empathy adults unable to empathize with a child's frustrations

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More from Merriam-Webster on empathize

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with empathize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for empathize

Spanish Central: Translation of empathize

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an act or instance of editing or removing

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