[ sim-puh-thahyz ]
See synonyms for: sympathizesympathizing on

verb (used without object),sym·pa·thized, sym·pa·thiz·ing.
  1. to be in sympathy or agreement of feeling; share in a feeling (often followed by with).

  2. to feel a compassionate sympathy, as for suffering or trouble (often followed by with).

  1. to express sympathy or condole (often followed by with).

  2. to be in approving accord, as with a person or cause: to sympathize with a person's aims.

  3. to agree, correspond, or accord.

Origin of sympathize

First recorded in 1580–90; from Middle French sympathiser; from sympath(ie) sympathy + -iser -ize
  • Also especially British, sym·pa·thise .

Other words for sympathize

Other words from sympathize

  • sym·pa·thiz·ing·ly, adverb
  • non·sym·pa·thiz·ing, adjective
  • non·sym·pa·thiz·ing·ly, adverb
  • pre·sym·pa·thize, verb (used without object), pre·sym·pa·thized, pre·sym·pa·thiz·ing.
  • un·sym·pa·thized, adjective
  • un·sym·pa·thiz·ing, adjective
  • un·sym·pa·thiz·ing·ly, adverb

Words that may be confused with sympathize Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use sympathize in a sentence

  • Perhaps at this moment his wife could hardly sympathise, when she thought of her boys emulating such deeds.

    The Daisy Chain | Charlotte Yonge
  • Where would I see a man who is base enough to sympathise with secession before I would vote for him for office?

  • But when it came to being brutally assaulted by Jaffery Chayne, she really thought Barbara would sympathise.

    Jaffery | William J. Locke
  • There is nothing offensive in such a stipulation,” said I; “and I even sympathise with the feeling that inspired it.

  • I sympathise with poor Desdemona when she had such a dangerous stream poured in her ear, even by a black man.

    Dracula | Bram Stoker

British Dictionary definitions for sympathize



/ (ˈsɪmpəˌθaɪz) /

verb(intr often foll by with)
  1. to feel or express compassion or sympathy (for); commiserate: he sympathized with my troubles

  2. to share or understand the sentiments or ideas (of); be in sympathy (with)

Derived forms of sympathize

  • sympathizer or sympathiser, noun

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