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 empathize (audio) \ noun

Examples of empathize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The pandemic forced companies to adapt their marketing to empathize during a time of challenges and civil unrest. Sunil Thomas, Forbes, "Marketing With Empathy: The Need For The Human Touch," 28 Apr. 2021 The Sacklers’ motivation, Keefe suggests, was simple greed, and they were aided in this project by a pair of noxious family traits: the refusal to admit error and a shocking inability to empathize. Los Angeles Times, "Review: A new exposé is an air-tight indictment of the family behind the opioid crisis," 13 Apr. 2021 But despite the military’s recent escalation of attacks on Karen villages, today Paw sees a glimmer of hope – mainly because a far broader swath of Myanmar’s population is now confronting the military’s wrath and so can empathize. Ann Scott Tyson, The Christian Science Monitor, "As Myanmar protests continue, a glimmer of greater unity," 9 Apr. 2021 For all the benefits of Zoom and Teams, there are limits to our ability to empathize online, and the chemistry that fuels strong interpersonal relations cannot be pixelized. Tomas Chamorro-premuzic, Forbes, "Three Things You Probably Miss About Work: Will They Come Back?," 9 Apr. 2021 Polar bears, after all, have become some of its most powerful avatars, providing a captivating lens through which the public can understand, and empathize with, the consequences of a warming world. Katherine Cusumano, Outside Online, "How Polar Bears Became Avatars for the Climate Crisis," 28 Mar. 2021 But art can also challenge us to see our common humanity, to empathize with people who are unlike us. Meredith Maran, Los Angeles Times, "A novelist’s fierce homage to New Mexico’s Latinx heritage," 27 Mar. 2021 This luck persisted through the pandemic, which revealed Biden’s ability to empathize with a grieving public while showcasing President Trump’s determination to do the opposite. Jennifer Szalai, New York Times, "A Closely Reported Look at Joe Biden’s ‘Lucky’ Path to the White House," 2 Mar. 2021 To illuminate, to empathize, to learn, to contemplate, to have our assumptions challenged — but also, now and then, to relax us, to take us away. Laurie Hertzel, Star Tribune, "Bookmark: Getting through the pandemic, one book at a time," 5 Feb. 2021

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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Last Updated

1 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Empathize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/empathize. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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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 empathize (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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