sym·​pa·​thize | \ ˈsim-pə-ˌthīz \
sympathized; sympathizing

Definition of sympathize

intransitive verb

1 : to be in keeping, accord, or harmony
2 : to react or respond in sympathy
3 : to share in suffering or grief : commiserate sympathize with a friend in trouble also : to express such sympathy
4 : to be in sympathy intellectually sympathize with a proposal

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Other Words from sympathize

sympathizer noun

Examples of sympathize in a Sentence

I sympathize but how can I help?

Recent Examples on the Web

Meanwhile, Grindelwald has escaped his American prison and is rallying wizards who sympathize with his desire to take over both the wizarding and mundane worlds. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "Even for the Harry Potter hardcore, Crimes of Grindelwald is one convoluted movie," 8 Nov. 2018 For many of his supporters, this clean slate outweighs his history as a retired army captain who has publicly sympathized with Brazil’s 1964-1985 military dictatorship and has often lashed out against gays, blacks and indigenous and women’s rights. Paulo Trevisani, WSJ, "With Few Jobs and Much Anger, Brazilians Go to the Polls," 25 Oct. 2018 The premier, who sympathizes with the euroskeptic 5-Star Movement, the government's main partner, indicated that Italian authorities had been too elastic in granting humanitarian protection. Frances D'emilio, Fox News, "Italy tightens eligibility for migrant protection," 24 Sep. 2018 The sad reality is that there are an awful lot of women, as well as other folks who have vaginas but do not identify as female, who can sympathize with your situation. Vanessa Marin, Allure, "Ask a Sex Therapist: How Do I Stop Feeling Insecure About My Genitals?," 30 Aug. 2018 There exist thousands of handwritten notes encouraging, or sympathizing, or thanking his friends and acquaintances. WSJ, "Transcript of George W. Bush’s Eulogy of His Father," 5 Dec. 2018 There exists thousands of handwritten notes encouraging or sympathizing or thanking his friends and acquaintances. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Read the Full Transcript of President George W. Bush's Eulogy for His Father," 5 Dec. 2018 But others sympathized with the parents and argued that this was a community center, not a museum where families would be expected to warn their children not to touch anything. Lynn Horsley, kansascity, "OP sculpture that boy 'hugged' wasn't appraised. His family's insurance paid $107,000," 9 July 2018 Most tweets on the subject append some sort of video, GIF, or image that makes fun of how Dawson excuses, sympathizes, or doesn’t really critique Paul’s use of racist slurs. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "Jake Paul’s racism controversy reveals the flaw in Shane Dawson’s docuseries," 19 Oct. 2018

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

1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

7 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for sympathize

The first known use of sympathize was in 1600

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More Definitions for sympathize



English Language Learners Definition of sympathize

: to feel sorry for someone who is in a bad situation : to feel sympathy for someone because you understand that person's problems

: to feel or show support for or approval of something


sym·​pa·​thize | \ ˈsim-pə-ˌthīz \
sympathized; sympathizing

Kids Definition of sympathize

1 : to feel or show pity or care and understanding for We sympathize with the family in its sorrow.
2 : to be in favor of something … no one sympathized with him in his little attempts to discover a quiet place for the seals.— Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book

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More from Merriam-Webster on sympathize

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sympathize

Spanish Central: Translation of sympathize

Nglish: Translation of sympathize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sympathize for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sympathize

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marked by shyness and lack of polish

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