sym·​pa·​thize | \ ˈsim-pə-ˌthīz How to pronounce sympathize (audio) \
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 Laura Talbot, who had been taking photos of her daughter, Aspen, sympathized with the residents., "most photographed street in America," 17 Oct. 2019 Tonioli sympathized that the fox trot is the hardest dance to learn and pointed out lots of mistakes. Emily Yahr, Washington Post, "‘Dancing With the Stars’ premiere: Ranking all the contestants from best to worst," 17 Sep. 2019 After getting his heart broken by Kufrin, many viewers sympathized with Horstmann and saw him as a kind-hearted gentleman. Dana Rose Falcone,, "Chris Harrison Spills on Blake's Bachelor in Paradise 'Love Octagon', 'Connection’ with Hannah," 7 Aug. 2019 The organization sympathizes with the victim’s family and friends. Katie Bain, Billboard, "Belgian Officials Release Arrest Report For Tomorrowland 2019," 1 Aug. 2019 Claudia Eunice Hernandez, 28, a general medical practitioner in Mexico City, sympathizes with posts on Reddit in which people describe feeling alienated after having left the church. Leila Miller,, "Reddit group becomes flashpoint in sex abuse scandal at La Luz del Mundo church," 15 July 2019 Palmer had gained national attention for sympathizing with the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupiers that year. oregonlive, "Case Closed: In Oregon campaign investigations, ‘I did not’ is all it takes," 17 Sep. 2019 In interviews for The Sopranos Sessions, David Chase expresses frustration that fans sympathized with Tony, who was supposed to be a villain. Adam Wilson, Harper's magazine, "Good Bad Bad Good," 16 Sep. 2019 Those within the organization are likely to sympathize with Pineda. John Shipley, Twin Cities, "John Shipley: ‘Big Mike’ left Twins in the lurch," 11 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for sympathize

Last Updated

11 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for sympathize

The first known use of sympathize was in 1600

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More Definitions for sympathize


How to pronounce sympathize (audio)

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 How to pronounce sympathize (audio) \
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

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


to engage in dissolute behavior

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