1

pity

play
noun \ ˈpi-tē \

Definition of pity

plural pities
1 a :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

Examples of pity in a Sentence

  1. She has had a hard life and deserves your pity.

  2. I felt deep pity for the lost dog.

  3. He didn't live to see his daughter grow up, and that's a pity.

Recent Examples of pity from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of pity

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

Synonym Discussion of pity

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

2

pity

verb

Definition of pity

pitied; pitying
transitive verb
:to feel pity for
intransitive verb
:to feel pity

Examples of pity in a Sentence

  1. I pity anyone who has to work at that place.

  2. I always pity the people who have to work in this freezing weather.

Recent Examples of pity from the Web

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.

First Known Use of pity

15th century

pity Synonyms

Synonyms
ache (for), bleed (for), commiserate (with), compassionate, condole (with), feel (for), sympathize (with), yearn (over)
Related Words
care (for); grieve (for), sorrow (for); love; empathize (with), identify (with); tolerate, understand
Near Antonyms
disregard, ignore, neglect, overlook; dislike, hate, scorn


PITY Defined for English Language Learners

pity

play
noun

Definition of pity for English Language Learners

  • : a strong feeling of sadness or sympathy for someone or something

  • : something that causes sadness or disappointment


pity

verb

Definition of pity for English Language Learners

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


PITY Defined for Kids

1

pity

play
noun \ ˈpi-tē \

Definition of pity for Students

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.

2

pity

verb

Definition of pity for Students

pitied; pitying
:to feel sadness and sympathy for


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up pity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to curse or denounce

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

  • young-plant-shoots
  • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!