Synonyms & Antonyms of condolence

a feeling or expression of care and sadness especially when someone is suffering because of the death of a family member, a friend, etc.
  • The governor issued a statement of condolence to the victims' families.
  • a letter of condolence

Synonyms & Near Synonyms for condolence

Antonyms & Near Antonyms for condolence

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Frequently Asked Questions About condolence

How does the noun condolence contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of condolence are commiseration, compassion, pity, and sympathy. While all these words mean "the act or capacity for sharing the painful feelings of another," condolence applies chiefly to formal expression of grief to one who has suffered loss.

expressed their condolences to the widow

When can commiseration be used instead of condolence?

In some situations, the words commiseration and condolence are roughly equivalent. However, commiseration suggests pity expressed outwardly in exclamations, tears, or words of comfort.

murmurs of commiseration filled the loser's headquarters

When would compassion be a good substitute for condolence?

The meanings of compassion and condolence largely overlap; however, compassion implies pity coupled with an urgent desire to aid or to spare.

treats the homeless with great compassion

In what contexts can pity take the place of condolence?

While in some cases nearly identical to condolence, 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 condolence?

The words sympathy and condolence can be used in similar contexts, but 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

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Time Traveler for condolence

Time Traveler

The first known use of condolence was in 1603

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Thesaurus Entries Near condolence

condoled (with)



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Cite this Entry

“Condolence.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on condolence

Nglish: Translation of condolence for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of condolence for Arabic Speakers


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