View synonyms for compassionate


[ adjective kuhm-pash-uh-nit; verb kuhm-pash-uh-neyt ]


  1. having or showing compassion:

    a compassionate person; a compassionate letter.

    Synonyms: tender, sympathetic, pitying

  2. granted in an emergency:

    compassionate military leave granted to attend a funeral.

  3. Obsolete. pitiable.

verb (used with object)

, com·pas·sion·at·ed, com·pas·sion·at·ing.
  1. Archaic. to pity or have compassion for.


/ kəmˈpæʃənət /


  1. showing or having compassion
  2. compassionate leave
    leave granted, esp to a serviceman, on the grounds of bereavement, family illness, etc

Discover More

Derived Forms

  • comˈpassionately, adverb
  • comˈpassionateness, noun

Discover More

Other Words From

  • com·passion·ate·ly adverb
  • com·passion·ate·ness noun
  • uncom·passion·ate adjective
  • uncom·passion·ate·ly adverb
  • uncom·passion·ate·ness noun

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of compassionate1

First recorded in 1580–90; compassion + -ate 1

Discover More

Example Sentences

With every responsible, compassionate person running around with a mask on nowadays, it seems inevitable that the phrase "wearable technology" will soon regularly include overly complicated high-tech face masks.

The figure of the compassionate mother may come to have greater appeal than that of the aggressive wartime commander.

From Fortune

The company also reported data on remdesivir given for “compassionate use” to children and pregnant women.

Gilead also reported data on remdesivir given for “compassionate use” to children and pregnant women, meaning no other treatment was available and the individuals could not join a clinical trial.

Finally, an international team of researchers gave remdesivir to 53 patients for “compassionate use.”

There is a procedure called “compassionate release” allowing terminally ill men to die at home.

The compassionate release was cancelled and he was sent back to his cell.

I know there are police officers who are kind, compassionate, and smart.

Republicans have a rare opportunity to implement policies that are truly compassionate and transcend toxic identity politics.

This whole thing has made me a way more compassionate and loving person.

It was a pleasant face, sun-bronzed and well-formed, with waving brown hair and eyes that could be gentle and compassionate.

Let us compassionate the critic whose well-trained faculties are thus wasted!

She was compassionate and, as she was unable to respect all men, she pitied those who were unfortunate enough to be wicked.

Dane's eyes were very compassionate as he laid his hand gently on his leader's shoulder.

Sometimes he spoke to her, and, though his voice was strained, his words were cheering and compassionate.


Discover More

More About Compassionate

What does compassionate mean?

Compassionate means having compassion—a feeling of sympathy or pity for others, especially one that makes you want to help them.

Being compassionate typically means you care and you want to help. The word can describe a person, their actions, or a situation that involves or is based on compassion.

The word compassion is sometimes used interchangeably with sympathy, and compassionate is sometimes used to mean sympathetic, which most most commonly means sharing emotions with someone else, especially sadness. These words are all used in the context of feeling sorry for people who are in negative situations. But being compassionate is often understood as having a feeling that motivates you to help them.

The opposite of being compassionate is being uncompassionate—indifferent or cold-hearted.

The word compassionate can also be used in a more specific way to mean granted in circumstances that call for compassion. The word is used this way in the phrase compassionate leave, which refers to permission to be absent, such as from military duty, due to a death or illness in the family or other personal reasons.

Example: We should be compassionate toward others because that’s how we want to be treated.

Where does compassionate come from?

The first records of the word compassionate come from the late 1500s. It comes from the Late Latin compassiō, meaning “fellow feeling,” from compatī, “to suffer with.” The suffix -ate is used to form adjectives. Compassionate and sympathetic are sometimes used to mean the same thing, and their roots mean the same things, too. The path in sympathetic and the passion in compassionate are both rooted in words that mean “to suffer,” and the com- and sym- at the beginning of each word both mean “with.”

Being compassionate may involve sharing in someone’s suffering, but the word most commonly describes a person who has a desire to end that suffering by helping in some way. It’s often associated with other words related to caring about people, especially kind.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to compassionate?

  • compassionately (adverb)
  • uncompassionate (adjective)
  • uncompassionately (adverb)
  • compassion (noun)

What are some synonyms for compassionate?

What are some words that share a root or word element with compassionate

What are some words that often get used in discussing compassionate?

How is compassionate used in real life?

Compassionate is often used in the discussion of why people should treat others with kindness—as well as in the discussion of how some people don’t.



Try using compassionate!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of compassionate?

A. happy
B. kind
C. sympathetic
D. merciful




compassioncompassionate conservative