pity

noun
\ ˈpi-tē How to pronounce pity (audio) \
plural pities

Definition of pity

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : sympathetic sorrow for one suffering, distressed, or unhappy
b : capacity to feel pity
2 : something to be regretted it's a pity you can't go

pity

verb
pitied; pitying

Definition of pity (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to feel pity for

intransitive verb

: to feel pity

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Choose the Right Synonym for pity

Noun

pity, compassion, commiseration, condolence, sympathy mean the act or capacity for sharing the painful feelings of another. pity implies tender or sometimes slightly contemptuous sorrow for one in misery or distress. felt pity for the captives compassion implies pity coupled with an urgent desire to aid or to spare. treats the homeless with great compassion commiseration suggests pity expressed outwardly in exclamations, tears, or words of comfort. murmurs of commiseration filled the loser's headquarters condolence applies chiefly to formal expression of grief to one who has suffered loss. expressed their condolences to the widow sympathy often suggests a tender concern but can also imply a power to enter into another's emotional experience of any sort. went to my best friend for sympathy in sympathy with her desire to locate her natural parents

Examples of pity in a Sentence

Noun She has had a hard life and deserves your pity. I felt deep pity for the lost dog. He didn't live to see his daughter grow up, and that's a pity. Verb I pity anyone who has to work at that place. I always pity the people who have to work in this freezing weather.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Still, after this recent storm spared South Florida but took no pity on our neighbors in the Bahamas, many have the desire to help in some way. Amanda Klarsfeld, sun-sentinel.com, "Residents offer rescue and refuge to Bahamian family after Hurricane Dorian," 11 Oct. 2019 This response almost always results in condescending chuckles of pity that my life is so small and boring. Robin Abrahams, BostonGlobe.com, "Advice: My friends snicker about my green travel," 26 July 2019 The movie was his show from start to finish, with Philippe hiring Driss for a readily comprehensible reason—the latter’s total absence of pity. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘The Upside’ Review: Uplift on Demand," 10 Jan. 2019 The view of Judaism in mainstream evangelicalism these days is much more one of pity, seeing Jewish people as incomplete & not having learned the full truth. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "Messianic Jews and Jews for Jesus, explained," 31 Oct. 2018 The world’s refugees and migrants don’t demand our pity. Paul Salopek, National Geographic, "A storyteller chronicles the mass migrations that define our age," 17 July 2019 Devotees of the Spider-Man comic books will be a step or two ahead of the rest of us in answering those questions, and more’s the pity, since being hoodwinked is part of the fun. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ often soars, though not as much as it twists," 3 July 2019 The famous ones can turn the story into a public tragedy that stirs our pity and terror. Margo Jefferson, Harper's magazine, "Lost Boy," 24 June 2019 No one is going to have pity on the Browns for that. Dan Labbe, cleveland.com, "Browns win, but questions remain with Rams coming to town," 16 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Its view of women who dance to make money is unsentimental and never pitying. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "Hustlers Proves Jennifer Lopez Has Been This Great All Along," 12 Sep. 2019 Alex is lonely and self-pitying after Jessica dumped him for Justin again. Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, "The Timeline You Need To Understand 13 Reasons Why Season 3," 24 Aug. 2019 For a moment, waiting for the horn to sound, Legacy pitied her. Melody Chiu, PEOPLE.com, "Get a First Look at Kobe Bryant's Upcoming Young Adult Novel Legacy and The Queen," 26 July 2019 There are people who are hurt by things in life that are easy to name and be pitied for. Lea Carpenter, Time, "'Desire Is Always Evolving.' What the 'Three Women' Author Learned After a Decade Following Women's Sex Lives," 19 July 2019 The hullabaloo couldn’t, however, erase the impression of a Kamala Harris the public had never before seen, or the tone of her self-pitying attack on Mr. Biden that went back decades to the busing era. Dorothy Rabinowitz, WSJ, "Kamala Harris’s Debate Victory Proves Pyrrhic," 10 July 2019 These are the Warriors, not the Little Sisters of the Poor, so nobody’s going to pity their misfortune. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Is coach Steve Kerr one of NBA's greatest? He will be if Warriors win this title," 4 June 2019 So pity the poor black cat, which through no fault of its own has gone from being an instrument of the devil to the convenient tool of the horror writer—and a favorite Halloween cliché. Amanda Foreman, WSJ, "The Dark Lore of Black Cats," 18 Oct. 2018 One of said older girls is Tracy, 31, Demi’s brunette nemesis, a woman Demi appears to pity simply for being, well, 31. Courtney Lund, Marie Claire, "ABC's 'The Bachelor' Has Never Felt More Openly Ageist Than Right Now," 23 Jan. 2019

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for pity

Noun

Middle English pite, from Anglo-French pité, from Latin pietat-, pietas piety, pity, from pius pious

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Statistics for pity

Last Updated

20 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for pity

The first known use of pity was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for pity

pity

noun
How to pronounce pity (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pity

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a strong feeling of sadness or sympathy for someone or something
: something that causes sadness or disappointment

pity

verb

English Language Learners Definition of pity (Entry 2 of 2)

: to feel pity for (someone or something) : to feel sorry for (someone or something)

pity

noun
\ ˈpi-tē How to pronounce pity (audio) \

Kids Definition of pity

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a feeling of sadness or sympathy for the suffering or unhappiness of others
2 : something that causes regret or disappointment What a pity that you can't go.

pity

verb
pitied; pitying

Kids Definition of pity (Entry 2 of 2)

: to feel sadness and sympathy for

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More from Merriam-Webster on pity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pity

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pity

Spanish Central: Translation of pity

Nglish: Translation of pity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pity for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pity

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