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[sim-puh-thahyz] /ˈsɪm pəˌθaɪz/
verb (used without object), sympathized, sympathizing.
to be in sympathy or agreement of feeling; share in a feeling (often followed by with).
to feel a compassionate sympathy, as for suffering or trouble (often followed by with).
to express sympathy or condole (often followed by with).
to be in approving accord, as with a person or cause:
to sympathize with a person's aims.
to agree, correspond, or accord.
Also, especially British, sympathise.
Origin of sympathize
1580-90; < Middle French sympathiser, equivalent to sympath(ie) sympathy + -iser -ize
Related forms
sympathizingly, adverb
nonsympathizing, adjective
nonsympathizingly, adverb
presympathize, verb (used without object), presympathized, presympathizing.
unsympathized, adjective
unsympathizing, adjective
unsympathizingly, adverb
Can be confused
empathize, sympathize.
4. understand, approve, favor, back, support. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for sympathizing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "Dat's all right," spoke Eradicate, sympathizing with his young employer.

  • The thought of sympathizing friends excited in him a fury of mistrust.

    Tales of Unrest Joseph Conrad
  • Was there any silent and sympathizing Dutchman to take pity on his captivity?

    Confessions Of Con Cregan Charles James Lever
  • My sympathizing friends, the students, headed by Bob Hale, had broken it down.

    Breaking Away Oliver Optic
  • The Jews, instead of sympathizing in his sorrows, triumphed in them.

  • The people, instead of sympathizing with the Pope, ridiculed him mercilessly.

    Lucretia Borgia Ferdinand Gregorovius
  • Who is so devoid of egotism as not to like to tell his own adventures to sympathizing beauty?

  • The chase was at last over, and the huntsmen all in, sympathizing with their lost companion.

    Clotelle William Wells Brown
British Dictionary definitions for sympathizing


verb (intransitive) often foll by with
to feel or express compassion or sympathy (for); commiserate: he sympathized with my troubles
to share or understand the sentiments or ideas (of); be in sympathy (with)
Derived Forms
sympathizer, sympathiser, noun
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 sympathizing



"to have fellow-feeling," c.1600; see sympathy + -ize. Related: Sympathized; sympathizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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