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 Perry and his family deeply sympathize with the loss and grief being experienced by Mr. Foster's family. Brian Dakss, CBS News, "Army sergeant says he's the one who shot a protester to death in Austin," 31 July 2020 Anyone who’s spent too long in a meeting-that-should-have-been-an-email can sympathize with the framers’ situation, especially in a muggy Northeastern city before air conditioning or more breathable clothes were invented. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Electoral College Is an American Humiliation," 8 July 2020 By the end, the series seems to sympathize with at least one government position, claiming the ends justify the means. Ani Bundel, Ars Technica, "Stellar deepfake thriller The Capture lands in USA thanks to NBC Peacock," 3 July 2020 In a letter to his forces in May, Kreitmayr called on those who sympathize with the far right to leave. Loveday Morris, Washington Post, "Germany disbands elite military unit after reports of right-wing extremism," 2 July 2020 However, not all business owners sympathize with the protests that left businesses damaged. NBC News, "First came a pandemic. Then, looting. Small businesses pick up the pieces as their debt mounts.," 4 June 2020 Similarly, a Reuters poll released yesterday shows that most Americans sympathize with the protests and disapprove of Trump’s response. Mary Hui, Quartz, "Why extreme actions shouldn’t delegitimize a protest," 3 June 2020 Hu, the editor-in-chief for the Global Times, noted that almost no Chinese Internet users sympathize with American police officers. Fox News, "Chinese state media editorial claims some in China 'cheering' George Floyd unrest online," 2 June 2020 Garcia worries about the many young undocumented people who sympathize with the African-American communities call for justice and are joining protests in solidarity. Uriel J. Garcia, azcentral, "Protesters gather at Phoenix ICE office to call for release of Arizona 'Dreamer'," 1 June 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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Last Updated

8 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sympathize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 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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