sympathetic

adjective
sym·pa·thet·ic | \ˌsim-pə-ˈthe-tik \

Definition of sympathetic 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : existing or operating through an affinity, interdependence, or mutual association

2a : appropriate to one's mood, inclinations, or disposition

b : marked by kindly or pleased appreciation the biographer's approach was sympathetic

3 : given to, marked by, or arising from sympathy, compassion, friendliness, and sensitivity to others' emotions a sympathetic gesture

4 : favorably inclined : approving not sympathetic to the idea

5a : showing empathy

b : arousing sympathy or compassion a sympathetic role in the play

6a : of or relating to the sympathetic nervous system

b : mediated by or acting on the sympathetic nerves

7 : relating to musical tones produced by sympathetic vibration or to strings so tuned as to sound by sympathetic vibration

sympathetic

noun

Definition of sympathetic (Entry 2 of 2)

: a sympathetic structure especially : sympathetic nervous system

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Other Words from sympathetic

Adjective

sympathetically \ˌsim-pə-ˈthe-ti-k(ə-)lē \ adverb

Examples of sympathetic in a Sentence

Adjective

He received much help from sympathetic friends. I didn't find the hero in the movie very sympathetic.

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Managua residents sympathetic to the students' cause donate supplies, sometimes delivering fully prepared meals. Kyra Gurney, miamiherald, "Nicaragua university students under attack as they lead political uprising against Ortega," 8 June 2018 Another Bond advisor, Cyril Tuschi, made a documentary sympathetic to Putin’s most famous critic, the tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Garrett M. Graff, WIRED, "Former Trump Campaign Aide: My Russia Ties Are Not Nefarious!," 25 May 2018 Trombley reports that Clara sent a Twain biographer posing as someone sympathetic to Isabel's story to interview the Websters in 1960. Marie Lavendier, courant.com, "The Lioness And The King: Was Mark Twain's Secretary A Treasure? Or 'A Salacious Slut'?," 29 Apr. 2018 Rudy Giuliani and Donna Hanover in 1995; Judth and Rudy Giuliani in 2006 In useful counterpoint to Felder’s overheated rhetoric were tales sympathetic to the mayor leaked to the feisty New York City tabloids. Anne-marie O'neill, PEOPLE.com, "From the Archives: How Rudy Giuliani and Judith Nathan Started Their Marriage by Ending Another," 4 Apr. 2018 Luckert noted that Americans and other nationalities sympathetic to Nazis were hired to broadcast Nazi propaganda on German shortwave radio that was transmitted to the world. Marvin Glassman, Jewish Journal, "Holocaust-themed events in Palm Beach, Broward counties feature survivors," 22 Mar. 2018 And critics who have bad-mouthed the teens on the internet or the airwaves have found that vitriol turned back on them by people sympathetic to the plight of students who became activists after seeing their classmates and teachers slaughtered. The Washington Post, NOLA.com, "Republican who called Parkland teen a 'skinhead lesbian' drops out of Maine House race," 18 Mar. 2018 Throughout the fracas, the first lady was cast as a sympathetic character. Christopher Muther, BostonGlobe.com, "There are no accidents in Melania Trump’s wardrobe choices," 22 June 2018 In both of her shows, Waller-Bridge seems interested in exploring the ways that even sympathetic female characters can experience near-sociopathic levels of detachment, in divesting women of any vintage claims to moral or emotional superiority. Julia Felsenthal, Vogue, "For Sandra Oh, Killing Eve Was a Very Long Time Coming," 5 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sympathetic.' 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 sympathetic

Adjective

1644, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1808, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sympathetic

Adjective

New Latin sympatheticus, from Latin sympathia sympathy

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Statistics for sympathetic

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sympathetic

The first known use of sympathetic was in 1644

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More Definitions for sympathetic

sympathetic

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of sympathetic

: feeling or showing concern about someone who is in a bad situation : having or showing feelings of sympathy

: having or showing support for or approval of something

: having pleasant or appealing qualities : causing feelings of sympathy

sympathetic

adjective
sym·pa·thet·ic | \ˌsim-pə-ˈthe-tik \

Kids Definition of sympathetic

1 : feeling or showing care or understanding I received help from sympathetic friends.

2 : feeling favorable They're not sympathetic to the idea.

Other Words from sympathetic

sympathetically \-ti-kə-lē \ adverb She listened sympathetically.

sympathetic

adjective
sym·pa·thet·ic | \ˌsim-pə-ˈthet-ik \

Medical Definition of sympathetic 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of or relating to the sympathetic nervous system

2 : mediated by or acting on the sympathetic nerves

Other Words from sympathetic

sympathetically \-i-k(ə-)lē \ adverb

sympathetic

noun

Medical Definition of sympathetic (Entry 2 of 2)

: a sympathetic structure especially : sympathetic nervous system

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Comments on sympathetic

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