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.

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Origin of empathy

First recorded in 1900–05; from Greek empátheia “affection,” equivalent to em- “in, within” (see em-2) + path- (base of páschein “to suffer”) + -eia noun suffix (see -ia); its present meaning translates German Einfühlung

synonym study 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

Example sentences from the Web for empathy

British Dictionary definitions for empathy

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 empathy

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 empathy

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.