- harmony of or agreement in feeling, as between persons or on the part of one person with respect to another.
- the harmony of feeling naturally existing between persons of like tastes or opinion or of congenial dispositions.
- the fact or power of sharing the feelings of another, especially in sorrow or trouble; fellow feeling, compassion, or commiseration.
- feelings or impulses of compassion.
- feelings of favor, support, or loyalty: It's hard to tell where your sympathies lie.
- favorable or approving accord; favor or approval: He viewed the plan with sympathy and publicly backed it.
- agreement, consonance, or accord.
- Psychology. a relationship between persons in which the condition of one induces a parallel or reciprocal condition in another.
- Physiology. the relation between parts or organs whereby a condition or disorder of one part induces some effect in another.
- expressing sympathy: a sympathy card; a sympathy vote.
Origin of sympathy
SynonymsSee more synonyms for sympathy on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for sympathies
Over the course of the year, Klaus would repeatedly, through word and deed, demonstrate his sympathies with Putin.Vaclav Klaus, Libertarian Hero, Has His Wings Clipped by Cato Institute
December 22, 2014
He may have done an excellent job of expressing his sympathies in an appropriate and meaningful way.Yes, Obama Was Right to Golf After Foley
Daniel G. Hill
August 30, 2014
Her sympathies lie instead with Roelf Pool, one of her first pupils, who has run away from his farm to become a painter in Paris.American Dreams, 1924: ‘So Big’ by Edna Ferber
March 29, 2014
But by the time Greyson and Loubani attempted their most recent trip, sympathies in Egypt had shifted.Imprisonment of Canadian Activists Illustrates Egyptian Regime's Growing Repression
September 26, 2013
Strangers stopped me on the street to offer their support and sympathies.My Life as a Sikh in America: A Response to the Wisconsin Massacre
Simran Jeet Singh
August 8, 2012
Nothing could degrade them beyond the reach of their sympathies!Weighed and Wanting
Indeed, her sympathies were easily accessible to a man of that sort.The Secret Agent
But it may be said that the miserable victims of the system have our sympathies.The Works of Whittier, Volume VII (of VII)
John Greenleaf Whittier
I'm willing to do that—my sympathies are always with the under dog, anyway, and they're five to one.Good Indian
B. M. Bower
The doctrine of sympathies and antipathies is a surprising doctrine.Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9)
- the sharing of another's emotions, esp of sorrow or anguish; pity; compassion
- an affinity or harmony, usually of feelings or interests, between persons or thingsto be in sympathy with someone
- mutual affection or understanding arising from such a relationship; congeniality
- the condition of a physical system or body when its behaviour is similar or corresponds to that of a different system that influences it, such as the vibration of sympathetic strings
- (sometimes plural) a feeling of loyalty, support, or accord, as for an idea, cause, etc
- physiol the mutual relationship between two organs or parts whereby a change in one has an effect on the other
Word Origin and History for sympathies
1570s, "affinity between certain things," from Middle French sympathie, from Late Latin sympathia "community of feeling, sympathy," from Greek sympatheia, from sympathes "having a fellow feeling, affected by like feelings," from syn- "together" (see syn-) + pathos "feeling" (see pathos).
In English, almost a magical notion at first; e.g. in reference to medicines that heal wounds when applied to a cloth stained with blood from the wound. Meaning "conformity of feelings" is from 1590s; sense of "fellow feeling" is first attested 1660s. An Old English loan-translation of sympathy was efensargung.
- A relation between parts or organs by which a disease or disorder in one induces an effect in the other.
- Mental contagion, as in yawning induced by seeing another person yawn.
- Mutual understanding or affection arising from a relationship or an affinity, in which whatever affects one correspondingly affects the other.