View synonyms for empathetic


[ em-puh-thet-ik ]


  1. relating to or characterized by empathy, the psychological identification with the emotions, thoughts, or attitudes of others:

    One of the great strengths of the school is our sensitive, empathetic counseling staff.

Discover More

Other Words From

  • em·pa·thet·i·cal·ly em·path·i·cal·ly adverb
  • non·em·path·ic adjective

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of empathetic1

First recorded in 1930–35; empath(y) + -etic

Discover More

Example Sentences

What is essential, though, is being empathetic while doing so.

From Fortune

Odds are that they would return to the office chastened, and pull out all the stops to design more empathetic tech and fix these issues.

From Fortune

It starts in undergraduate education, where classes around the ethics of innovation, conscious capitalism, and empathetic tech should be made compulsory for any computer science student.

From Fortune

Campaigns and elections have always been about data—underneath the empathetic promises to fix your problems and fight for your family, it’s a business of metrics.

The Washington Post’s branded content arm, WP BrandStudio, is striving to making sure that the projects that the team is working on are effective and empathetic during this unsure time.

From Digiday

There was the empathetic way she dealt with the revelation that Mrs. Baxter is a former criminal.

In the books there was always something a little sad and empathetic about him.

Her claims of being “dead broke” or “not truly well off” sound almost as empathetic as Marie Antoinette telling folks to eat cake.

It has a lot to do with empathy and prejudice—the potential to avoid an escalating conflict through the ability to be empathetic.

Wagner, as irascible and cynical as he can be, is a subtly empathetic writer.

You can't lie to a trained empathetic because he can sense the real attitude behind the verbal lies.

It enfolded his consciousness, tenderly, protectingly, empathetic.

You can't lie to a trained empathetic, because he can sense the real attitude behind the verbal lies.

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

But he did feel the wave of emotion that welled from her, impinging directly on his empathetic sense.


Related Words

Discover More

More About Empathetic

What does empathetic mean?

Empathetic means having or tending to have empathy—the ability or practice of imagining or trying to deeply understand what someone else is feeling or what it’s like to be in their situation.

Empathy is often described as the ability to feel what others are feeling as if you are feeling it yourself. To feel empathy for someone is to empathize. People who do this are described as empathetic.

Some people use the word empathetic interchangeably or in overlapping ways with the word sympathetic, which generally means sharing or tending to share emotions with someone else, especially sadness. However, others distinguish the two terms by emphasizing the importance of being empathetic toward others (feeling their pain) as opposed to being sympathetic toward them (feeling sorry for them).

A less common variant of empathetic is empathic.

Example: Having faced many of the same challenges, Nyala is empathetic to the struggles of immigrants.

Where does empathetic come from?

The first records of the word empathetic come from the 1900s. The word empathy, first recorded in the late 1800s, comes from a translation of the German term Einfühlung, which literally means “a feeling in.” It ultimately derives from the Greek empátheia, meaning “affection” or “passion,” from em-, meaning “in,” and path-, the base of a verb meaning “to suffer.” In contrast, the sym- in sympathetic means “with” or “together.”

While being sympathetic toward someone often means pitying them or feeling bad for them, being empathetic is feeling or attempting to feel and understand exactly how a person feels and what it’s like to be them. When you’re empathetic toward someone, you identify with them—as if you were them. In other words, being empathetic is feeling and understanding what it’s like to be “in someone else’s shoes.” Being empathetic usually involves showing kindness and having compassion—the desire to do something to help a person and reduce their pain. People described as empathetic due to being very sensitive to the emotions of others are sometimes called empathists or empaths.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to empathetic?

  • empathic (adjective)
  • empathetically (adverb)
  • empathy (noun)

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


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


What are some words empathetic may be commonly confused with?

How is ​empathetic used in real life?

Empathetic is often used in discussions about how people should try to have more empathy.



Try using empathetic!

Which of the following actions is an example of being empathetic?

A. Feeling sorry for someone
B. Ignoring someone
C. Imagining how someone feels
D. Complimenting someone