a person who pities.

Origin of pitier

First recorded in 1595–1605; pity + -er1



noun, plural pit·ies.

sympathetic or kindly sorrow evoked by the suffering, distress, or misfortune of another, often leading one to give relief or aid or to show mercy: to feel pity for astarving child.
a cause or reason for pity, sorrow, or regret: What a pity you could not go!


Informal. motivated by a sense of pity or sympathy for others or for oneself: to have pity sex with a virgin; to go on a pity date with a loser.

verb (used with object), pit·ied, pit·y·ing.

to feel pity or compassion for; be sorry for; commiserate with.

verb (used without object), pit·ied, pit·y·ing.

to have compassion; feel pity.


    have/take pity, to show mercy or compassion.

Origin of pity

1175–1225; Middle English pite < Old French pite, earlier pitet < Latin pietāt- (stem of pietās) piety
Related formsout·pit·y, verb (used with object), out·pit·ied, out·pit·y·ing.un·pit·ied, adjective

Synonyms for pity

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pitier

Historical Examples of pitier

  • A pitier and sympathizer may be very distant, and his aid may reach us over the abysses.

    The Bible and Life

    Edwin Holt Hughes

  • Pitier of the orphan, God of the widow, cause us to share Thy pity and become Thy messengers of tenderness in our small measure.

    The Meaning of Faith

    Harry Emerson Fosdick

British Dictionary definitions for pitier


noun plural pities

sympathy or sorrow felt for the sufferings of another
have pity on or take pity on to have sympathy or show mercy for
something that causes regret or pity
an unfortunate chancewhat a pity you can't come
more's the pity it is highly regrettable (that)

verb pities, pitying or pitied

(tr) to feel pity for
Derived Formspitying, adjectivepityingly, adverb

Word Origin for pity

C13: from Old French pité, from Latin pietās duty
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

Word Origin and History for pitier



early 13c., from Old French pite, pitet "pity, mercy, compassion, care, tenderness; pitiful state, wretched condition" (11c., Modern French pitié), from Latin pietatem (nominative pietas) "piety, loyalty, duty" (see piety). Replaced Old English mildheortness, literally "mild-heartness," itself a loan-translation of Latin misericordia. English pity and piety were not fully distinguished until 17c. Transferred sense of "grounds or cause for pity" is from late 14c.



"to feel pity for," late 15c., from Old French pitier and from pity (n.). Related: Pitied; pitying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with pitier


see for one's (pity's) sake; take pity on.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.