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 Baggs as an object of pity, trapped in their own world. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, "Mel Baggs, influential blogger on disability and autism, dies at 39," 30 Apr. 2020 But much of the public response focused on autism and seemed to treat Baggs as an object of pity, trapped in their own world. Harrison Smith, BostonGlobe.com, "Mel Baggs, influential blogger on disability and autism, dies at 39," 30 Apr. 2020 Baggs thought made autistic people objects of pity. Neil Genzlinger, New York Times, "Mel Baggs, Blogger on Autism and Disability, Dies at 39," 28 Apr. 2020 The 504 Sit-in, which lasted 28 days, challenged the perception of people with disabilities as helpless or objects of pity. Time, "1977: Judith Heumann," 5 Mar. 2020 Betsy was extremely direct, highly intelligent and did not tolerate fools, complaining or self pity. New York Times, "Betsy Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth’s Widow and Collaborator, Dies at 98," 26 Apr. 2020 My mother and sisters offered me comforting words and back rubs, hot-water bottles and ibuprofen; at school, teachers would offer me pity and a place to lie down. Kelly Mccreary, Glamour, "Kelly McCreary: ‘This Is My First Year of Living Without Fibroid Pain’," 27 Mar. 2020 Will another Senate office be getting some pity pizza of its own before long? oregonlive, "Sen. Booker’s office consoles Elizabeth Warren staff with pizza, returning Dunkin’ favor," 6 Mar. 2020 Some of his trademark deep tan was rubbing off on his collar, giving me a pang of simultaneous pity and admiration. Lesley M.m. Blume, Town & Country, "The Profane Originality of Robert Evans, Hollywood's Most Unapologetic Gatsby," 2 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Cut off from his language, culture, profession and passions, stripped of his fancy degrees, bitter and self-pitying and at least said to be suicidal, Mengele always knew how history would judge him. David Margolick, WSJ, "‘Mengele’ Review: The Demon Doctor of Auschwitz," 24 Jan. 2020 Is that a way to get us to almost pity him for his professed inadequacies as a husband and father? Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "'#blackAF': TV Review," 16 Apr. 2020 For this reason everybody pitied them no less than the sufferers. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, "Pandemics and the Shape of Human History," 30 Mar. 2020 But whether Cardinals fans were mocking or pitying Cubs fans, the feeling of superiority was widespread. Paul Sullivan, chicagotribune.com, "‘Best fans in baseball’ show respect — for the most part — as the Cubs take a rare upper hand in their rivalry against the Cardinals," 30 July 2019 Wizardkind pities us, merest muggles, our modernities and our dependencies. Jason Kehe, Wired, "Harry Potter and the Curse of Technology," 11 Dec. 2019 In a follow-up post, Woods urged well-wishers not to pity her. Toyin Owoseje, CNN, "Model Slick Woods tells fans not to treat her 'like a victim' after revealing she's having chemotherapy," 21 Nov. 2019 Rather than rallying around him, top Democrats lashed out at Clinton for his self-pitying tone. Steve Kornacki, NBC News, "Clinton kept his party with him to stop impeachment. Trump's approach is different.," 5 Oct. 2019 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

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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Time Traveler for pity

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for pity

Last Updated

21 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pity. Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

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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

Comments on pity

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