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 Local residents in rural areas had escaped the worst of the war and had a hard time empathizing with the expellees’ suffering. Anil Menon, The Conversation, "Postwar forced resettlement of Germans echoes through the decades," 7 May 2020 The discussion around Joker centers on whether the movie scrutinizes or empathizes with its protagonist, whose acts of violence are born at least in part from feelings of rejection by women in his life. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "The Joker Has Always Been a Controversial Character. This Time, It’s Different," 8 Oct. 2019 Understanding and empathizing with this is essential to exercising patience, and will also help parents reset boundaries to reflect the activities and expectations at hand. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, "How to Optimize Your Space (and Prepare Your Kids) for Home-Schooling," 23 Mar. 2020 Hitler’s Tastersa risky drama that asks audiences to empathize with Nazi protagonists. Stuart Miller, Los Angeles Times, "From Fringe Festival to Venice: A socially distanced ‘Hitler’s Tasters’ comes to L.A.," 13 Mar. 2020 Still, teachers can empathize with students’ reluctance to show their faces. Mary Hui, Quartz, "“Dad wants to play mahjong”: The struggles of remote learning in Hong Kong during coronavirus," 17 Feb. 2020 That framing encourages the audience to ponder the limits of Atticus’s impulse to empathize even with vile racists like Bob Ewell, a man who’s trying to pin his own assault of his daughter Mayella on Tom. David Sims, The Atlantic, "What It Means to Stage To Kill a Mockingbird in 2019," 17 Dec. 2019 Director Mark Foley, who represents the east Contra Costa area of the rail system, empathizes with riders who have no alternative but to drive. Rachel Swan, SFChronicle.com, "Could this be the end of $3 parking at BART lots?," 13 Feb. 2020 For example, any parent who has grappled with exhaustion can empathize with Knisley’s sometimes sloppy lines in Go to Sleep, so uncharacteristic of her normally precise style. Adrienne So, Wired, "Comic Book Artists on Parenthood, Creativity, and Cry-Barfing," 29 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for empathize

Time Traveler

The first known use of empathize was circa 1916

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Statistics for empathize

Last Updated

16 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Empathize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/empathize. Accessed 28 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for empathize


How to pronounce empathize (audio)

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.
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

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with empathize

Spanish Central: Translation of empathize

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