View synonyms for pity


[ pit-ee ]


, plural pit·ies.
  1. 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 a starving child.

    Synonyms: commiseration, compassion

  2. a cause or reason for pity, sorrow, or regret:

    What a pity you could not go!


  1. motivated by a sense of pity or sympathy for others or for oneself:

    It seems he got the pity vote because of his personality, but his singing just wasn’t that great.

verb (used with object)

, pit·ied, pit·y·ing.
  1. to feel pity or compassion for; be sorry for; commiserate with.

verb (used without object)

, pit·ied, pit·y·ing.
  1. to have compassion; feel pity.


/ ˈpɪtɪ /


  1. sympathy or sorrow felt for the sufferings of another
  2. have pity on or take pity on
    to have sympathy or show mercy for
  3. something that causes regret or pity
  4. an unfortunate chance

    what a pity you can't come

  5. more's the pity
    it is highly regrettable (that)


  1. tr to feel pity for

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Derived Forms

  • ˈpitying, adjective
  • ˈpityingly, adverb

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Other Words From

  • out·pit·y verb (used with object) outpitied outpitying
  • un·pit·ied adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of pity1

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English pite, from Old French pite, earlier pitet, from Latin pietāt- (stem of pietās “dutiful respect, sense of duty”); piety none

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Word History and Origins

Origin of pity1

C13: from Old French pité, from Latin pietās duty

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. have / take pity, to show mercy or compassion.

More idioms and phrases containing pity

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

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Synonym Study

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Example Sentences

I will, however, avoid the chance to wallow in self-pity because that’s not what this op-ed is about.

The Steelers might have pitied themselves a bit — and with reason.

The one time our culture is finally represented in the mainstream media, he said, it’s shown as “some kind of pity party needed for the main character to become less superficial.”

From Vox

A vaunted agency that was once the global gold standard of public health has, with breathtaking speed, become a target of anger, scorn and even pity.

Nope, though readers may occasionally see the tiniest justifiable pity-party because the backdrop of this book is about parenting a parent, which everybody knows is hard.

Lady Rose is also rather subdued in the premiere, which is a pity.

It is not a pity party when you can stand up and say, “I am,” to be counted, reaffirmed, human.

This is not a woman who wants pity, nor does she want money, or even an apology from Cosby.

Well, the dwarfs took pity on him and gave him the coffin, and the prince had it carried to his castle.

Yet even as the Germans wallowed in bitter self-pity, another defeated superpower underwent a dramatic turnaround.

When she did this, and drooped the corners of her mouth, she was very engaging, and the young man tingled all over with pity.

If wealth were always thus employed, it were a pity that great fortunes are not more numerous.

A girl was moved to pity by a picture of a lamb caught in a thicket, and tried to lift the branch that lay across the animal.

He come July six, for don't you mind how they called him Cevery out of pity and generosity for the Spayniards?

If he would take her a little more seriously—it 's an immense pity he married her because she was silly!


Related Words

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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




pit viperpitying