- 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.
- to feel pity or compassion for; be sorry for; commiserate with.
- to have compassion; feel pity.
- have/take pity, to show mercy or compassion.
Origin of pity
SynonymsSee more synonyms for pity on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for pity
Lady Rose is also rather subdued in the premiere, which is a pity.What Downton’s Fashion Really Means
January 2, 2015
It is not a pity party when you can stand up and say, “I am,” to be counted, reaffirmed, human.I Was Gang Raped at a UVA Frat 30 Years Ago, and No One Did Anything
December 16, 2014
Africa was supposedly a place to avoid or, at best, an oddity to pity.How I Got Addicted to Africa (and Wrote a Thriller About It)
September 9, 2014
It would have been easy to pity—and forget—the women that Davis played: ordinary, working class, and unromantic.Ann B. Davis Was the Zesty Antidote to the Bradys
June 2, 2014
A creature deserving of pity and a medical diagnosis that will grant them a special status in society.Surviving War Doesn’t Turn All Veterans into Victims, Sometimes it Helps Them Grow
May 18, 2014
It's a pity you ain't got some one to shut down on you that way.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
"It is a pity some of his friends were not here," said the captain of the ship that had rescued him.Brave and Bold
It has been said that unsettled questions have no pity for the repose of nations.
This we too well know you can, and have done—more is the shame and the pity!Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
It were a pity, if all this outcry should draw no customers.A Rill from the Town Pump (From "Twice Told Tales")
- 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)
- (tr) to feel pity for
Word Origin and History for pity
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.
Idioms and Phrases with pity
see for one's (pity's) sake; take pity on.