View synonyms for sympathizer


[ sim-puh-thahy-zer ]


  1. a person who sympathizes.
  2. Ophthalmology. an eye that exhibits ophthalmia because of disease or injury of the other.

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Other Words From

  • non·sympa·thizer noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of sympathizer1

First recorded in 1805–15; sympathize + -er 1

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Example Sentences

Social movements have long struggled with the challenges of getting sympathizers to do more than worry about an issue.

From Time

Reviled in the national press, denounced by demagogues, and attacked by mobs, abolitionists faced unprecedented hostility and violence coordinated by Southerners and their sympathizers in the North.

From Time

Over the past few weeks, convoys of truckers and sympathizers protesting vaccination mandates and covid restrictions have cut off Ottawa’s busiest border with the US.

Instead, he spent his designated time suggesting that Omarova was a communist sympathizer, beginning with that loaded question.

That they could find sympathizers on the inside who might help them.

Anyone considered insufficiently anti-Communist was deemed a “comsymp”—short for Communist sympathizer.

The president considered “Lucky Lindy,” as he was derisively called, a Nazi sympathizer and a subversive.

Is he for the ticks or is he—perhaps—soft on them, or worse yet, a tick sympathizer?

Taken for guerrillas, every Southern sympathizer was eager to give them all the information possible.

Mr. Rice, the owner of the plantation, was a hot Southern sympathizer, but he did not relish his present company.

An unknown sympathizer sends greetings, in the name of humanity.

The fact that this newspaper was taken by Mr. Pollard was to me sufficient evidence that he was a Southern sympathizer.

There were many who regarded it as a measure of self-defence to put to death so open a sympathizer with the work of persecution.


Related Words

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More About Sympathizer

What does sympathizer mean?

Sympathizer most commonly refers to someone who is supportive of or loyal to someone or something, such as a leader or cause.

The verb sympathize most commonly means to feel sympathy with someone—to share their emotions, especially sadness. This is usually understood to mean that you feel bad for them because they are in a negative situation. The word sympathizer can be used to mean someone who sympathizes in this way. It can also refer to someone who offers their sympathies or condolences, such as to someone who is in mourning.

But sympathizer is especially used to refer to someone who identifies with, supports, or is sympathetic toward a certain cause. This sense of the word is usually used in a negative way to criticize such support, and often implies that such support is secret or at least not fully open. This is the way the word is used in the phrase Communist sympathizer.

Example: We condemn not only the people directly responsible for these attacks but also their sympathizers.

Where does sympathizer come from?

The first records of the word sympathizer come from the early 1800s. The first known use of the word is by Jane Austen in her 1816 novel Emma. Sympathize is first recorded in the late 1500s and its base word, sympathy, comes from the Greek sympátheia, from sym-, “with,” and páth(os), “suffering.”

A sympathizer can be anyone who shows sympathy toward others. But it is most commonly used to refer to a person who identifies with or secretly supports a cause or ideology that the speaker is critical of. The most well-known use of the word is perhaps in Communist sympathizer, which gained use in the U.S. during the 1940s and ’50s. In the ’50s, it was used by Joseph McCarthy during his notorious investigations of alleged Communist infiltration in the U.S. government, when so-called Communist sympathizers were targeted for various forms of discrimination.

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What are some words that share a root or word element with sympathizer

What are some words that often get used in discussing sympathizer?

How is sympathizer used in real life?

Sympathizer is usually used in a negative way that’s critical of a person’s beliefs.



Try using sympathizer!

Is sympathizer used correctly in the following sentence?

He has broad support, but he has lost some sympathizers due to the scandal.

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