Synonym Chooser

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

Thesaurus Entries Near sympathy

Cite this Entry

“Sympathy.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on sympathy

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