em·​pa·​thize | \ˈem-pə-ˌthīz \
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 \ noun

Examples of empathize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Strahovski was a revelation, actually making us empathize with Serena Joy Waterford, an architect of Gilead and a woman who has imposed a massive amount of misery throughout the show’s run. Glenn Whipp, latimes.com, "Emmy snubs and surprises: New faces are in, old institutions are out and Sandra Oh makes history," 12 July 2018 Padma Lakshmi can empathize with the thousands of children being torn from their parents due to the Trump administration’s child separation policy. Jodi Guglielmi, PEOPLE.com, "Padma Lakshmi Says She Knows the 'Trauma' of Families Separated at the U.S.-Mexico Border," 27 June 2018 Herbert could empathize with Burmeister, after he was inserted as a surprise starter as a freshman, as well. Andrew Greif, OregonLive.com, "Oregon QB Braxton Burmeister enters second spring 'tougher'," 7 Mar. 2018 Her victory in Tuesday's Democratic primary for a House seat from the immigrant-rich Minneapolis area depended heavily on support from people who feel persecuted in Trump's America and voters who empathize with them. Steve Karnowski, Fox News, "Victory offers Muslim candidate new platform to oppose Trump," 15 Aug. 2018 To put it in clinical terms, compassion fatigue is a traumatic stress syndrome, where a caretaker’s ability to empathize with those in their care weakens. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "If the News Cycle Is Giving You Compassion Fatigue, Here's What You Can Do," 26 June 2018 The tweet quickly racked up more than 1 million likes and thousands of responses from others who have lost parents and could empathize. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "Woman Receives Annual Birthday Flowers from Her Dad 5 Years After His Death," 27 Nov. 2017 Facebook apparently can empathize with the Phillies because like the National League East’s worst team, Mark Zuckerberg’s company got off to a bad start with its first attempt at live-streaming a big-league ballgame. Bob Brookover, Philly.com, "Happy Home Opener: How will you greet Gabe Kapler? | Extra Innings," 5 Apr. 2018 Her publicly expressed lack of concern wasn't focused on some specific aspect of her role - perhaps one with which the public could even empathize or at least understand. Robin Givhan, Houston Chronicle, "Nothing else Melania Trump wears will ever matter again," 13 July 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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Last Updated

29 Nov 2018

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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 \
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 \
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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with empathize

Spanish Central: Translation of empathize

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