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See more synonyms for empathetic on Thesaurus.com
  1. of, relating to, or characterized by empathy, the psychological identification with the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of others: a sensitive, empathetic school counselor.
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Also em·path·ic [em-path-ik] /ɛmˈpæθ ɪk/.

Origin of empathetic

First recorded in 1930–35; empath(y) + -etic
Related formsem·pa·thet·i·cal·ly, em·path·i·cal·ly, adverbnon·em·path·ic, adjectivenon·em·path·i·cal·ly, adverb
Can be confusedempathetic sympathetic simpatico
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for empathetic

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • What in blazes is an empathetic—and how do you recognize it when you have found it?

    Planet of the Damned

    Harry Harrison

  • A dead man had taught him how to train his empathetic sense, and to trust it.

    Planet of the Damned

    Harry Harrison

  • Ihjel had helped him train his empathetic sense and he reached out with it.

    Planet of the Damned

    Harry Harrison

  • It enfolded his consciousness, tenderly, protectingly, empathetic.

    Riya's Foundling

    Algirdas Jonas Budrys

  • The empathetic is always aware of this constant and silent surge, whether he makes the effort to understand it or not.

    Planet of the Damned

    Harry Harrison

Word Origin and History for empathetic


1932, in psychology, from empathy on model of sympathetic and to distinguish it from empathic. Related: Empathetically.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper