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[kuh m-pash-uh n] /kəmˈpæʃ ən/
a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.
verb (used with object)
Archaic. to compassionate.
Origin of compassion
1300-50; Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Late Latin compassiōn- (stem of compassiō). See com-, passion
Related forms
compassionless, adjective
uncompassion, noun
uncompassioned, adjective
1. commiseration, mercy, tenderness, heart, clemency. See sympathy.
1. mercilessness, indifference. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for compassioned
Historical Examples
  • How she compassioned his great weakness, as he wiped away the moisture which, even on that cold day, glistened on his forehead.

    Macaria Augusta Jane Evans Wilson
British Dictionary definitions for compassioned


a feeling of distress and pity for the suffering or misfortune of another, often including the desire to alleviate it
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, from Late Latin compassiō fellow feeling, from compatī to suffer with, from Latin com- with + patī to bear, suffer
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for compassioned



mid-14c., from Old French compassion "sympathy, pity" (12c.), from Late Latin compassionem (nominative compassio) "sympathy," noun of state from past participle stem of compati "to feel pity," from com- "together" (see com-) + pati "to suffer" (see passion).

Latin compassio is an ecclesiastical loan-translation of Greek sympatheia (see sympathy). An Old English loan-translation of compassion was efenðrowung.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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