Definitions for sympathyˈsɪm pə θi

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word sympathy

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

sym•pa•thy*ˈsɪm pə θi(n.; adj.)(pl.)-thies

  1. (n.)harmony of or agreement in feeling, as between persons or on the part of one person with respect to another.

  2. the harmony of feeling existing between persons of like tastes or opinion or of congenial dispositions.

  3. the ability to share the feelings of another, esp. in sorrow or trouble; compassion; commiseration.

  4. sympathies, feelings or impulses of compassion or support.

  5. favorable or approving accord; favor or approval.

  6. agreement, consonance, or accord.

  7. Physiol. the relation between parts or organs whereby a condition or disorder of one part induces some effect in another.

    Category: Physiology

  8. (adj.)acting out of or expressing sympathy:

    a sympathy vote.

    Category: Common Vocabulary

* Syn: sympathy , compassion , pity , empathy denote the tendency or capacity to share the feelings of others. sympathy signifies a general kinship with another's feelings, no matter of what kind: sympathy with their yearning for freedom; sympathy for the bereaved. compassion implies a deep sympathy for the sorrows or troubles of another, and a powerful urge to alleviate distress: compassion for homeless refugees. pity suggests a kindly, but sometimes condescending, sorrow aroused by the suffering or misfortune of others: Mere pity for the flood victims is no help.empathy refers to a vicarious participation in the emotions of another, or to the ability to imagine oneself in someone else's predicament: to feel empathy with a character in a play.

Origin of sympathy:

1560–70; < L sympathīa < Gk sympátheia=sympathe-, s. of sympathḗs sympathetic (sym-sym - +-pathēs, adj. der. of páthos suffering, sensation) +-ia -y3

Princeton's WordNet

  1. sympathy, understanding(noun)

    an inclination to support or be loyal to or to agree with an opinion

    "his sympathies were always with the underdog"; "I knew I could count on his understanding"

  2. sympathy, fellow feeling(noun)

    sharing the feelings of others (especially feelings of sorrow or anguish)

  3. sympathy(noun)

    a relation of affinity or harmony between people; whatever affects one correspondingly affects the other

    "the two of them were in close sympathy"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. sympathy(noun)ˈsɪm pə θi

    understanding and sorrow for sb's problems

    She felt great sympathy for the victim's family.; I have no sympathy for him.


  1. sympathy(Noun)

    A feeling of pity or sorrow for the suffering or distress of another; compassion.

  2. sympathy(Noun)

    The ability to share the feelings of another;

  3. sympathy(Noun)

    A mutual relationship between people or things such that they are correspondingly affected by any condition.

  4. Origin: From sympathie, from sympathia, from συμπάθεια, from σύν + πάθος.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Sympathy(noun)

    feeling corresponding to that which another feels; the quality of being affected by the affection of another, with feelings correspondent in kind, if not in degree; fellow-feeling

  2. Sympathy(noun)

    an agreement of affections or inclinations, or a conformity of natural temperament, which causes persons to be pleased, or in accord, with one another; as, there is perfect sympathy between them

  3. Sympathy(noun)

    kindness of feeling toward one who suffers; pity; commiseration; compassion

  4. Sympathy(noun)

    the reciprocal influence exercised by the various organs or parts of the body on one another, as manifested in the transmission of a disease by unknown means from one organ to another quite remote, or in the influence exerted by a diseased condition of one part on another part or organ, as in the vomiting produced by a tumor of the brain

  5. Sympathy(noun)

    that relation which exists between different persons by which one of them produces in the others a state or condition like that of himself. This is shown in the tendency to yawn which a person often feels on seeing another yawn, or the strong inclination to become hysteric experienced by many women on seeing another person suffering with hysteria

  6. Sympathy(noun)

    a tendency of inanimate things to unite, or to act on each other; as, the sympathy between the loadstone and iron

  7. Sympathy(noun)

    similarity of function, use office, or the like


  1. Sympathy

    Sympathy is a feeling and concern. Or it can be the perception, understanding, and reaction to the distress or need of another human being. This empathic concern is driven by a switch in viewpoint, from a personal perspective to the perspective of another group or individual who is in need. Empathy and sympathy are often used interchangeably. Sympathy is a feeling, but the two terms have distinct origins and meanings. Empathy refers to the understanding and sharing of a specific emotional state with another person. Sympathy does not require the sharing of the same emotional state. Instead, sympathy is a concern for the well-being of another. Although sympathy may begin with empathizing with the same emotion another person is feeling, sympathy can be extended to other emotional states.

The Roycroft Dictionary

  1. sympathy

    1. A malady that sometimes afflicts the rich. 2. The lees of the wine-cup offered to another. 3. An impulse toward ourselves through the heart of another. 4. Whatever may be extended to another that does not take the shape of money. 5. The sum of all virtues. 6. The first attribute of love as well as its last. (I am not sure but that sympathy is love's own self, vitalized mayhap by some divine actinic ray. Only the souls who have suffered are well loved.)

The Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz


    Feeling for others; very noticeable in Blind Man's Buff.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'sympathy' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #4282

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'sympathy' in Written Corpus Frequency: #4633

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'sympathy' in Nouns Frequency: #1622

Translations for sympathy

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


a feeling of pity or sorrow for a person in trouble

When her husband died, she received many letters of sympathy.

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