empathy

[ em-puh-thee ]
/ ˈɛm pə θi /

noun

the psychological identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.
the imaginative ascribing to an object, as a natural object or work of art, feelings or attitudes present in oneself: By means of empathy, a great painting becomes a mirror of the self.

QUIZZES

HEED THE VOX POPULI, AND TAKE THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ!

Test your memory on these verbal firecrackers from the week of June 29 to July 5!
Question 1 of 7
anchorite

Origin of empathy

1900–05; < Greek empátheia affection, equivalent to em- em-2 + path- (base of páschein to suffer) + -eia -ia; present meaning translates German Einfühlung

SYNONYMS FOR empathy

1 See sympathy.

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH empathy

empathy sympathy (see synonym study at sympathy)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for empathies'

empathy
/ (ˈɛmpəθɪ) /

noun

the power of understanding and imaginatively entering into another person's feelingsSee also identification (def. 3b)
the attribution to an object, such as a work of art, of one's own emotional or intellectual feelings about it

Derived forms of empathy

empathist, noun

Word Origin for empathy

C20: from Greek empatheia affection, passion, intended as a rendering of German Einfühlung, literally: a feeling in; see en- ², -pathy
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

Medical definitions for empathies'

empathy
[ ĕmpə-thē ]

n.

Direct identification with, understanding of, and vicarious experience of another person's situation, feelings, and motives.
The projection of one's own feelings or emotional state onto an object or animal.

Other words from empathy

em′pa•thetic (-thĕtĭk) null adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Cultural definitions for empathies'

empathy
[ (em-puh-thee) ]

Identifying oneself completely with an object or person, sometimes even to the point of responding physically, as when, watching a baseball player swing at a pitch, one feels one's own muscles flex.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.