What does pity mean?

Definitions for pityˈpɪt i

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word pity.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. commiseration, pity, ruth, pathos(noun)

    a feeling of sympathy and sorrow for the misfortunes of others

    "the blind are too often objects of pity"

  2. pity, shame(noun)

    an unfortunate development

    "it's a pity he couldn't do it"

  3. compassion, pity(verb)

    the humane quality of understanding the suffering of others and wanting to do something about it

  4. feel for, pity, compassionate, condole with, sympathize with(verb)

    share the suffering of


  1. pity(Noun)

    A feeling of sympathy at the misfortune or suffering of someone or something.

  2. pity(Noun)

    (countable but not used in the plural) Something regrettable.

  3. pity(Verb)

    To feel pity for (someone or something).

  4. pity(Interjection)

    Short form of what a pity.

  5. Origin: From pité, pittee etc., from pitet, pitié, from pietas.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Pity(noun)


  2. Pity(noun)

    a feeling for the sufferings or distresses of another or others; sympathy with the grief or misery of another; compassion; fellow-feeling; commiseration

  3. Pity(noun)

    a reason or cause of pity, grief, or regret; a thing to be regretted

  4. Pity(verb)

    to feel pity or compassion for; to have sympathy with; to compassionate; to commiserate; to have tender feelings toward (any one), awakened by a knowledge of suffering

  5. Pity(verb)

    to move to pity; -- used impersonally

  6. Pity(verb)

    to be compassionate; to show pity


  1. Pity

    Pity means feeling for others, particularly feelings of sadness or sorrow, and is used in a comparable sense to the more modern words "sympathy" and "empathy". Through insincere usage, it can also have a more unsympathetic connotation of feelings of superiority or condescension. The word "pity" comes from the Latin word "Pietas". The word is often used in the translations from Ancient Greek into English of Aristotle's Poetics and Rhetoric. Aristotle argued that before a person can feel pity for another human, the person must first have experienced suffering of a similar type, and the person must also be somewhat distanced or removed from the sufferer. In Aristotle's Rhetoric he defines pity as follows: "Let pity, then, be a kind of pain in the case of an apparent destructive or painful harm of one not deserving to encounter it, which one might expect oneself, or one of one's own, to suffer, and this when it seems near". Aristotle also pointed out that "people pity their acquaintances, provided that they are not exceedingly close in kinship; for concerning these they are disposed as they are concerning themselves...For what is terrible is different from what is pitiable, and is expulsive of pity". Thus, from Aristotle's perspective, in order to feel pity, a person must believe that the person who is suffering does not deserve their fate. Developing a traditional Greek view in his work on poetry, Aristotle also defines tragedy as a kind of imitative poetry that provokes pity and fear.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Pity

    pit′i, n. a strong feeling for or with the sufferings of others: sympathy with distress: a cause or source of pity or grief.—v.t. to feel pity with: to sympathise with:—pa.t. and pa.p. pit′ied.adj. Pit′iable, deserving pity: affecting: wretched.—n. Pit′iableness.—adv. Pit′iably.—n. Pit′ier, one who pities.—adj. Pit′iful, feeling pity: compassionate: exciting pity: sad: despicable.—adv. Pit′ifully.—n. Pit′ifulness.—adj. Pit′iless, without pity: cruel.—adv. Pit′ilessly.—n. Pit′ilessness.—adv. Pit′yingly, in a pitying manner.—It pitieth me, you, them, &c. (Pr. Bk.), it causeth pity in me, you, them, &c. [O. Fr. pite (Fr. pitié, It. pietà)—L. pietas, pietatispius, pious.]

The Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz

  1. PITY

    An emotion awakened in a man's mind when he beholds the children of a woman who might have married him instead.

British National Corpus

  1. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'pity' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3493

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'pity' in Nouns Frequency: #2045


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of pity in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of pity in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Yiddish Proverb:

    A snake deserves no pity.

  2. Speaker Eduardo Cunha:

    God have pity on this nation.

  3. Don Marquis:

    Pity the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

  4. William Butler Yeats:

    A pity beyond all telling is hid in the heart of love.

  5. W. Somerset Maugham:

    It was such a lovely day I thought it a pity to get up.

Images & Illustrations of pity

  1. pitypitypity

Translations for pity

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"pity." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 23 Mar. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/pity>.

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