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 There’s no condemnation in The Magician, nor is there pity. Rumaan Alam, Vulture, 17 Sep. 2021 Yes, but there’s no time for that self-pity nonsense. Los Angeles Times, 17 Sep. 2021 Instead, the players were subjected to something far more damning, far more telling, infinitely worse: pity. New York Times, 17 Sep. 2021 Here was masculine sadness, the lone cowboy, in all its grit and self-pity. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 17 Sep. 2021 These are attacks in which the cybercriminals use emotional appeals to things such as fear, pity or excitement to bait people into providing sensitive information. Nir Kshetri, The Conversation, 15 Sep. 2021 That is, until the robots rebel and kill their maintenance techs first, to demonstrate that no humans will be shown pity. Sam Weiner, The New Yorker, 6 Sep. 2021 Empathy is, of course, the operative word there—not sympathy or pity or, worse, demonization. Eirik Gumeny, Wired, 31 Aug. 2021 This racial reductiveness is a pity, because the story of Ms. Williams is truly uplifting, on a par with that of Condoleezza Rice. Tunku Varadarajan, WSJ, 11 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb So my grandmother knew that if we weren’t circumcised, people would pity us. Ryan Lenora Brown, The Christian Science Monitor, 30 Aug. 2021 When things don’t go well, the audience is meant to pity her as just another victim of Leighton Meester’s queen bee, Blair Waldorf. Los Angeles Times, 29 July 2021 Because our parents made a choice—the choice to migrate—few people pity them, or wonder whether restitution should be made for decades of exploitation. Karla Cornejo Villavicencio, The New Yorker, 18 Jan. 2021 And pity the fool who goes out too hard, which is a bad idea in any kind of racing but can result in severe oxygen debt at altitude in snowshoes. John Meyer, The Know, 18 Feb. 2020 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, 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, 16 Apr. 2020 For this reason everybody pitied them no less than the sufferers. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, 30 Mar. 2020 But whether Cardinals fans were mocking or pitying Cubs fans, the feeling of superiority was widespread. Paul Sullivan, chicagotribune.com, 30 July 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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Dictionary Entries Near pity

pitwright

pity

pitying

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Statistics for pity

Last Updated

23 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pity. Accessed 26 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for pity

pity

noun

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

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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