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 In contrast, viewers of The Columnist will most likely sympathize with all the middle fingers awaiting them in this film. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "In The Columnist, reading the comments isn’t bad—being a toxic online troll is," 11 Oct. 2020 Fan prediction: By the end of the show, the audience will sympathize with Paulson's terror-inducing character. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, "Sarah Paulson Reacts to Ratched and American Horror Story Fan Theories," 22 Sep. 2020 When the protests started, de Blasio could have seized the moment to sympathize with the protesters and demand reform and greater accountability. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Bill de Blasio Has Failed," 2 June 2020 Lewis Lanier, an immunologist at the University of California, San Francisco, can sympathize. Quanta Magazine, "‘Trained Immunity’ Offers Hope in Fight Against Coronavirus," 14 Sep. 2020 One begins to sympathize with Della’s relatives in their frantic attempts to shield her from him. Jordan Kisner, The Atlantic, "Marilynne Robinson’s Lonely Souls," 11 Sep. 2020 Donald Trump had high praise for law enforcement officials and little time to sympathize with the family of Jacob Blake and the Black community during his recent visit to Kenosha. Karen Ho, Quartz, "Trump is forgetting Kenosha’s Black community," 1 Sep. 2020 In the rulings, the judges sympathize with businesses’ plight, but most so far support insurers’ legal arguments. Leslie Scism, WSJ, "Insurance Firms Gain Early Lead in Coronavirus Legal Fight With Businesses," 1 Sep. 2020 While many in the Shiite community are fiercely loyal to the group, and many non-Shiites sympathize with its anti-Israel stance, others increasingly see it as imposing Iran’s will on the country. Bassem Mroue, The Christian Science Monitor, "Lebanon at 100: Upheaval, crises, a new prime minister," 31 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for sympathize

Time Traveler

The first known use of sympathize was in 1600

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Statistics for sympathize

Last Updated

19 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sympathize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Oct. 2020.

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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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Comments on sympathize

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