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

The joke here is that neither Mr. Whitaker nor anybody else is likely to exercise any authority over Mr. Mueller—and more’s the pity. Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ, "Doubling Down on Mueller," 15 Nov. 2018 But the emphasis will be on the party, not the pity. SI.com, "Peru's World Cup Journey: Part 3 - Incas Seek Sochi Salvation After the Dream Ends Early," 25 June 2018 Now lunch envy has gone the other way: Being the person who has prepped your own lunch inspires not pity but admiration. Bee Wilson, WSJ, "The Lunchbox Renaissance," 24 Jan. 2019 Being diagnosed with dry eye can spark some serious self-pity. Korin Miller, SELF, "So Your Doctor Says You Have Dry Eye? Here Are 8 Treatment Options to Know," 13 Dec. 2018 After a devastating 2-1 loss to Croatia on Wednesday (July 11), England is hardly wallowing in self-pity. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, "England Fans Unite in Singing Oasis' 'Don't Look Back In Anger' After World Cup Loss," 11 July 2018 But for once, this character evokes something like the pity and terror of classical tragedy. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Women Set London’s Stages Ablaze," 9 July 2018 The collective heart rallied to the mortified cuckold, whose public persona shifted overnight from stud to object of pity. Marcia Desanctis, Town & Country, "Mark Sanford, Act II," 14 Feb. 2013 Alone, Zain wanders the streets of Beirut, and eventually encounters a kindly worker, Rahil, at an amusement park, who takes pity on him and brings him home. Chloe Schama, Vogue, "In Capernaum, Nadine Labaki Visits Some of the Most Miserable Places on Earth—And Turns It Into Art," 14 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Local filmmakers are following Kelli on his pursuit to stop Islamophobia, change the narrative of refugees as victims to be pitied to survivors that help our communities thrive and build bridges across ethnic, cultural, and faith divides. Alyssa A Marino, Danielle Barker, USA TODAY, "How a Syrian refugee is recreating his "American Dream" for the next generation," 22 June 2018 And because the basic emotional core of their relationship is based on friendship rather than betrayal, the audience can relax and sink into the fun of the story without getting distracted by pitying the character who’s being fooled. Constance Grady, Vox, "To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before," 25 Aug. 2018 By Sunday, after the Bulls officially matched the offer sheet, LaVine was walking back or walking around his previous self-pitying statement. Steve Rosenbloom, chicagotribune.com, "Why the Bulls had no choice but to match Zach LaVine’s offer sheet," 9 July 2018 This Australian comedy blends emotional sob sessions with witty one-liners, leaving you pitying and laughing at the new parents. Sara Aridi, New York Times, "What’s on TV Saturday: ‘The Letdown’ and ‘Indivisible’," 21 Apr. 2018 Nor does grief for indigenous victims prevent him from pitying Spanish foot soldiers, their lives wasted on an infamous crime. Benjamin Kunkel, The New Republic, "The partisan world of Pablo Neruda," 2 July 2018 But the hyperbolic self-pitying tone of the tweet instantly highlighted the problem of viewing economic news only from the perspective of bosses, as opposed to workers. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Rising wages horrifies CNBC but delights everyone else.," 5 July 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near pity

pitwood

pitwork

pitwright

pity

pitying

Pitylus

pityocampa

Statistics for pity

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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

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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