sympathetic

adjective
sym·​pa·​thet·​ic | \ ˌsim-pə-ˈthe-tik How to pronounce sympathetic (audio) \

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

Other Words from sympathetic

Adjective

sympathetically \ ˌsim-​pə-​ˈthe-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce sympathetic (audio) \ 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 Railway employees sympathetic to the partisans have leaked details of Russian movements and the locations of key railway infrastructure to a group called the Community of Railway Workers, which shares them on Telegram channels. Washington Post, 23 Apr. 2022 Perhaps half the population was sympathetic to Moscow before the war, Mr. Shumov said. Yaroslav Trofimov, WSJ, 4 May 2022 Former President Donald Trump’s attempts to reverse the results of the 2020 election and his subsequent endorsements of candidates for state election offices who are sympathetic to his view have elevated those races to top-tier status. Christina A. Cassidy, Anchorage Daily News, 30 Apr. 2022 That goes by more people are sympathetic to what’s happening over there. Laura Johnston, cleveland, 27 Apr. 2022 Le Pen has been sympathetic to Putin and Russia, and a victory by her would have been a big propaganda victory for Putin's government. David Jackson, USA TODAY, 24 Apr. 2022 In the texts released by the committee, Perry encouraged Meadows to talk to Jeffrey Clark, an assistant attorney general who was sympathetic to Trump’s bogus claims of election fraud. Farnoush Amiri, Chron, 24 Apr. 2022 In the texts released by the committee, Perry encouraged Meadows to talk to Jeffrey Clark, an assistant attorney general who was sympathetic to Trump’s bogus claims of election fraud. Farnoush Amiri, Chicago Tribune, 23 Apr. 2022 The regular honking of horns from cars passing by told him people are still sympathetic to the plight of Ukrainians. John Wilkens, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In 1936, King Edward VIII—a monarch sympathetic to the Nazis—was forced to abdicate in order to marry the divorcée Wallis Simpson. Priya Satia, The New Republic, 20 May 2022 Tired of Haitian resistance, the Americans installed Louis Borno, a savvy politician sympathetic to the occupation, as president. New York Times, 20 May 2022 But deans and chairs must appoint a faculty hiring committee sympathetic to the aims of the benefactor. Michael Poliakoff, Forbes, 12 Apr. 2022 But the show never really conveys her beliefs — one of many soft-pedalings from creator Robbie Pickering to render his protagonist sympathetic. Washington Post, 22 Apr. 2022 The Turbins belong to a milieu sympathetic to monarchy—Elena’s husband is a Baltic German and an anti-Bolshevik officer. Marci Shore, The Atlantic, 11 Mar. 2022 Hollingsworth said in the video her financial setbacks make her sympathetic to Marylanders facing the same challenges. Pamela Wood, baltimoresun.com, 8 Feb. 2022 Russian yachts being seized across Europe as nations sympathetic to Ukraine's plight press sanctions that include impounding assets of Russia's wealthy class. Editors, USA TODAY, 13 Mar. 2022 In late December, Jeffrey Clark, a Justice Department official sympathetic to Trump, drafted a letter urging Georgia officials to call a special session of the legislature to reconsider Biden’s win. Anchorage Daily News, 21 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About sympathetic

Time Traveler for sympathetic

Time Traveler

The first known use of sympathetic was in 1644

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near sympathetic

sympathectomy

sympathetic

sympathetical

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Statistics for sympathetic

Last Updated

27 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sympathetic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sympathetic. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for sympathetic

sympathetic

adjective
sym·​pa·​thet·​ic | \ ˌsim-pə-ˈthe-tik How to pronounce sympathetic (audio) \

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 How to pronounce sympathetic (audio) \

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 How to pronounce sympathetic (audio) \ adverb

sympathetic

noun

Medical Definition of sympathetic (Entry 2 of 2)

: a sympathetic structure especially : sympathetic nervous system

More from Merriam-Webster on sympathetic

Nglish: Translation of sympathetic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sympathetic for Arabic Speakers

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