- harmony of or agreement in feeling, as between persons or on the part of one person with respect to another.
- the harmony of feeling naturally existing between persons of like tastes or opinion or of congenial dispositions.
- the fact or power of sharing the feelings of another, especially in sorrow or trouble; fellow feeling, compassion, or commiseration.
- feelings or impulses of compassion.
- feelings of favor, support, or loyalty: It's hard to tell where your sympathies lie.
- favorable or approving accord; favor or approval: He viewed the plan with sympathy and publicly backed it.
- agreement, consonance, or accord.
- Psychology. a relationship between persons in which the condition of one induces a parallel or reciprocal condition in another.
- Physiology. the relation between parts or organs whereby a condition or disorder of one part induces some effect in another.
- expressing sympathy: a sympathy card; a sympathy vote.
Origin of sympathy
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for sympathy
In the view of some cops, perps merit little concern or sympathy.‘I Can’t Breathe!’ ‘I Can’t Breathe!’ A Moral Indictment of Cop Culture
December 4, 2014
It would appear that when it came to the bottom line, Washington was not overflowing with sympathy.Washington’s Wheeler-Dealer Patriotism
October 31, 2014
The fact that most audiences end up feeling some degree of sympathy for Mother Courage irritated Brecht to no end.Brecht's Mercenary Mother Courage Turns 75
September 10, 2014
Jezebel has shown some sympathy to this and other male insecurities in the past.Full Frontal Disney: Feminism's Nudity Double Standard
August 20, 2014
But sympathy for the Palestinians, on varying levels, is one issue that unites them.Do Palestinians Really Exist?
July 31, 2014
"That's bad," said the station-master, in a tone of sympathy.Brave and Bold
We are held by particular bonds of sympathy and common interest with them.
Telegrams of inquiry and sympathy came from all parts of the world to the Castle.The Grand Old Man
Richard B. Cook
In the selfishness of his misery he looked upon this as lack of sympathy with himself.Weighed and Wanting
Or, I don't know that I should say she was not in sympathy with them.Ester Ried Yet Speaking
- the sharing of another's emotions, esp of sorrow or anguish; pity; compassion
- an affinity or harmony, usually of feelings or interests, between persons or thingsto be in sympathy with someone
- mutual affection or understanding arising from such a relationship; congeniality
- the condition of a physical system or body when its behaviour is similar or corresponds to that of a different system that influences it, such as the vibration of sympathetic strings
- (sometimes plural) a feeling of loyalty, support, or accord, as for an idea, cause, etc
- physiol the mutual relationship between two organs or parts whereby a change in one has an effect on the other
Word Origin and History for sympathy
1570s, "affinity between certain things," from Middle French sympathie, from Late Latin sympathia "community of feeling, sympathy," from Greek sympatheia, from sympathes "having a fellow feeling, affected by like feelings," from syn- "together" (see syn-) + pathos "feeling" (see pathos).
In English, almost a magical notion at first; e.g. in reference to medicines that heal wounds when applied to a cloth stained with blood from the wound. Meaning "conformity of feelings" is from 1590s; sense of "fellow feeling" is first attested 1660s. An Old English loan-translation of sympathy was efensargung.
- A relation between parts or organs by which a disease or disorder in one induces an effect in the other.
- Mental contagion, as in yawning induced by seeing another person yawn.
- Mutual understanding or affection arising from a relationship or an affinity, in which whatever affects one correspondingly affects the other.