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[em-puh-thahyz] /ˈɛm pəˌθaɪz/
verb (used without object), empathized, empathizing.
to experience empathy (often followed by with):
His ability to empathize with people made him an excellent marriage counselor.
Also, especially British, empathise.
Origin of empathize
First recorded in 1920-25; empath(y) + -ize
Can be confused
empathize, sympathize. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for empathize
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Yet Brion could empathize their feelings, the warmth of their intense relief and happiness.

    Sense of Obligation Henry Maxwell Dempsey (AKA Harry Harrison)
  • How ironic that the only people who can empathize with them are the Macedonians who share the same fear of being quartered.

    After the Rain Sam Vaknin
  • They weren't able to—to empathize the Martians, or whatever you call it.

    Duel on Syrtis Poul William Anderson
  • They empathize—that is, see through our eyes, feel with our fingertips—so that they perceive what we do.

    Breaking Point James E. Gunn
  • But Brion could empathize their feelings, the warmth of their intense relief and happiness.

    Planet of the Damned Harry Harrison
British Dictionary definitions for empathize


(intransitive) to engage in or feel empathy
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 empathize

1924, in psychology, from empathy + -ize. Related: Empathized; empathizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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empathize in Medicine

empathize em·pa·thize (ěm'pə-thīz')
v. em·pa·thized, em·pa·thiz·ing, em·pa·thiz·es
To feel empathy in relation to another person.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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