Synonyms & Antonyms of sympathy

1 sorrow or the capacity to feel sorrow for another's suffering or misfortune
  • since losing her own brother to lung disease, the nurse has had greater sympathy for families going through the same agony

Synonyms for sympathy

Words Related to sympathy

Near Antonyms for sympathy

Antonyms for sympathy

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Frequently Asked Questions About sympathy

How does the noun sympathy differ from other similar words?

The words affinity and attraction are common synonyms of sympathy. While all three words mean "the relationship existing between things or persons that are naturally or involuntarily drawn together," sympathy implies a reciprocal or natural relation between two things that are both susceptible to the same influence.

two minds in sympathy

When might affinity be a better fit than sympathy?

The meanings of affinity and sympathy largely overlap; however, affinity implies a susceptibility or predisposition on the part of the one drawn.

an affinity for mathematics

When is attraction a more appropriate choice than sympathy?

In some situations, the words attraction and sympathy are roughly equivalent. However, attraction implies the possession by one thing of a quality that pulls another to it.

felt an attraction to danger

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Time Traveler for sympathy

Time Traveler

The first known use of sympathy was in 1579

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Thesaurus Entries Near sympathy

sympathizing (with)


sympathy strike

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Cite this Entry

“Sympathy.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on sympathy

Nglish: Translation of sympathy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sympathy for Arabic Speakers


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