Synonym Chooser

How does the noun commiseration contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of commiseration are compassion, condolence, pity, and sympathy. While all these words mean "the act or capacity for sharing the painful feelings of another," commiseration suggests pity expressed outwardly in exclamations, tears, or words of comfort.

murmurs of commiseration filled the loser's headquarters

In what contexts can compassion take the place of commiseration?

The words compassion and commiseration can be used in similar contexts, but compassion implies pity coupled with an urgent desire to aid or to spare.

treats the homeless with great compassion

When is condolence a more appropriate choice than commiseration?

While the synonyms condolence and commiseration are close in meaning, condolence applies chiefly to formal expression of grief to one who has suffered loss.

expressed their condolences to the widow

When is it sensible to use pity instead of commiseration?

While in some cases nearly identical to commiseration, pity implies tender or sometimes slightly contemptuous sorrow for one in misery or distress.

felt pity for the captives

When could sympathy be used to replace commiseration?

The words sympathy and commiseration are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, 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

Thesaurus Entries Near commiseration

Cite this Entry

“Commiseration.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

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