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 Soon, my looks of pity at those by the baggage carousel turned to looks of envy. Louis Cheslaw, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Suitcase That Made Me Want to Check My Bags Again," 21 Feb. 2020 Tyyisha said pity played no part in her change of heart. Steve Hartman, CBS News, "Man with an incurable brain tumor finally marries his longtime love," 14 Feb. 2020 What a pity none of those films were actually nominated. Jazmin Kopotsha, refinery29.com, "The Most Important Things You Missed From The BAFTA Awards," 3 Feb. 2020 Joker, a hit movie that seeks pity for a violent, white male character who’s been failed by society, leads with 11 nominations. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "Yes, We Should Fix the Broken Oscars. But Let's Not Look to Hollywood to Fix Us," 30 Jan. 2020 Some locals who had grown up here for generations enjoyed watching them fail and flail, some kept a polite distance, but most succumbed to empathy or pity or the thing that flows between neighbors. Longreads, "In Pocahontas County, Deep Divisions and a Gruesome Discovery," 22 Jan. 2020 Not the whole overwrought overman stuff, and not the conflation of pity and weakness. Christian Wiman, Harper's magazine, "The Cancer Chair," 20 Jan. 2020 That implies those cultures conceptualize pity as more positive than others—or love as more negative. Cassie Werber, Quartz, "Happiness and grief change depending what language you’re speaking," 22 Dec. 2019 Not many are chambered for it, more’s the pity. Because ballistically this is the world’s reigning rimfire champ. Ron Spomer, Outdoor Life, "Rimfire Showdown: .22 WMR vs. .17 HMR vs. .17 WSM," 18 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 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

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

27 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pity. Accessed 28 Feb. 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

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