verb (used without object), em·pa·thized, em·pa·thiz·ing.
IS YOUR VOCABULARY AS STRONG AS A HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT? TRY THIS QUIZ TO SEE!
WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH empathizeempathize , sympathize.
Words nearby empathize
What does empathize mean?
To empathize with someone is to imagine or try to deeply understand what they are feeling or what it’s like to be in their situation.
The ability or the practice of doing this is called empathy, which is often described as the ability to feel what others are feeling as if you are feeling it yourself. So, to empathize is to feel empathy for someone. People who do this are described as empathetic.
Some people use the word empathize interchangeably or in overlapping ways with the word sympathize, which generally means to share someone else’s emotions, especially sadness. However, others distinguish the two terms by emphasizing the importance of empathizing with others (feeling their pain) as opposed to sympathizing with them (feeling sorry for them).
Example: Having faced many of the same challenges, Nyala is able to empathize with other immigrants and what they go through.
Where does empathize come from?
The first records of the word empathize 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 sympathize means “with” or “together.” The -ize in both words is used to make them verbs.
While sympathizing with someone often means pitying them or feeling bad for them, empathizing is feeling or attempting to feel and understand exactly how a person feels and what it’s like to be them. When you empathize with someone, you identify with them—as if you were them. In other words, empathizing is feeling and understanding what it’s like to be “in someone else’s shoes.” Empathizing usually involves showing kindness and having compassion—the desire to do something to help a person and reduce their pain. People described as empathetic or empathic 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 empathize?
- empathise (British English spelling)
- empathy (noun)
What are some words that share a root or word element with empathize?
What are some words that often get used in discussing empathize?
What are some words empathize may be commonly confused with?
How is empathize used in real life?
Empathize is often used in discussions about how people should try to have more empathy.
Research shows that power can reduce our capacity to empathize.
The best leaders realize that danger and work to:
-See the world through the eyes of others.
-Understand their perspective.
-Act on their behalf.
They lead with empathy.
— Jill Geisler (@JillGeisler) July 14, 2020
Regulating emotions, managing stress, empathizing with others, and maintaining relationships will be key to helping students learn this fall, according to CASEL in its new guide for reopening schools. https://t.co/ssCMPGz2dp
— Education Week Teacher (@EdWeekTeacher) July 15, 2020
Try using empathize!
Which of the following actions is an example of empathizing?
A. Feeling sorry for someone
B. Ignoring someone
C. Imagining how someone feels
D. Complimenting someone
Example sentences from the Web for empathize
But Babylon asks us to do a little more: It wants us to empathize.'Babylon' Review: The Dumb Lives of Trigger-Happy Cops|Melissa Leon|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Jay is hard to empathize with and his silence suggests that, yeah, something is up.The Deal With Serial’s Jay? He’s Pissed Off, Mucks Up Our Timeline|Emily Shire|December 31, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Also you do have a lot of young girls seeing this film, and they should have somebody in there who they can empathize with.‘No Regrets’: Peter Jackson Says Goodbye to Middle-Earth|Alex Suskind|December 4, 2014|DAILY BEAST
As I uncovered these stories, I found a way to empathize with members of the Greek system.Stepford Sororities: The Pressures of USC’s Greek Life|Maya Richard Craven|November 17, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Both came off as negative, terrible people as they bickered, and it was still impossible not to empathize with both of them.‘Scandal’ Review: Olivia Pope Has Lost Her Damn Mind|Kevin Fallon|September 26, 2014|DAILY BEAST
How ironic that the only people who can empathize with them are the Macedonians who share the same fear of being quartered.After the Rain|Sam Vaknin
They empathize—that is, see through our eyes, feel with our fingertips—so that they perceive what we do.Breaking Point|James E. Gunn
Yet Brion could empathize their feelings, the warmth of their intense relief and happiness.Sense of Obligation|Henry Maxwell Dempsey (AKA Harry Harrison)
They weren't able to—to empathize the Martians, or whatever you call it.Duel on Syrtis|Poul William Anderson
But Brion could empathize their feelings, the warmth of their intense relief and happiness.Planet of the Damned|Harry Harrison