Definition of sympathy
1a : an affinity, association, or relationship between persons or things wherein whatever affects one similarly affects the otherb : mutual or parallel susceptibility or a condition brought about by itc : unity or harmony in action or effect <every part is in complete sympathy with the scheme as a whole — Edwin Benson>
2a : inclination to think or feel alike : emotional or intellectual accord <in sympathy with their goals>b : feeling of loyalty : tendency to favor or support <republican sympathies>
3a : the act or capacity of entering into or sharing the feelings or interests of anotherb : the feeling or mental state brought about by such sensitivity <have sympathy for the poor>
4 : the correlation existing between bodies capable of communicating their vibrational energy to one another through some medium
Examples of sympathy in a sentence
She went to her best friend for sympathy.
Letters of sympathy were sent to the families of the victims.
My deepest sympathies go out to the families of the victims.
Our sympathies are with them.
There was no sympathy between them.
Origin and Etymology of sympathy
Latin sympathia, from Greek sympatheia, from sympathēs having common feelings, sympathetic, from syn- + pathos feelings, emotion, experience — more at pathos
First Known Use: 1579
Synonym Discussion of sympathy
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>.
SYMPATHY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of sympathy for English Language Learners
: the feeling that you care about and are sorry about someone else's trouble, grief, misfortune, etc. : a sympathetic feeling
: a feeling of support for something
: a state in which different people share the same interests, opinions, goals, etc.
SYMPATHY Defined for Kids
Definition of sympathy for Students
1 : sorrow or pity for another <She felt sympathy for the poor lost puppy.>
2 : readiness to favor or support <He expressed sympathy for the protesters.>
3 : a relationship between people or things in which whatever affects one similarly affects the other
Medical Definition of sympathy
1a: an affinity, association, or relationship between persons or things wherein whatever affects one similarly affects the otherb: mutual or parallel susceptibility or a condition brought about by it
2a: the act or capacity of entering into or sharing the feelings or interests of anotherb: the feeling or mental state brought about by such sensitivity
Seen and Heard
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