pity

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Anglo-Norman pité, pittee etc., from Old French pitet, pitié, from Latin pietās.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

pity (countable and uncountable, plural pities)

  1. (uncountable) A feeling of sympathy at the misfortune or suffering of someone or something.
    • Bible, Proverbs xix. 17
      He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord.
    • Shakespeare
      He [] has no more pity in him than a dog.
    • 1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essays, Folio Society 2006, p. 5:
      The most usuall way to appease those minds we have offended [] is, by submission to move them to commiseration and pitty.
  2. (countable) Something regrettable.
    It's a pity you're feeling unwell because there's a party on tonight.
    • Laurence Sterne
      It was a thousand pities.
    • Addison
      What pity is it / That we can die but once to serve our country!
  3. (obsolete) piety
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Wyclif to this entry?)

Synonyms[edit]

  • (mercy): ruth
  • (something regrettable): shame

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

pity (third-person singular simple present pities, present participle pitying, simple past and past participle pitied)

  1. (transitive) To feel pity for (someone or something). [from 15th c.]
    • Bible, Psalms ciii. 13
      Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.
  2. (transitive, now regional) To make (someone) feel pity; to provoke the sympathy or compassion of. [from 16th c.]
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, IV.11:
      She lenger yet is like captiv'd to bee; / That even to thinke thereof it inly pitties mee.
    • Book of Common Prayer
      It pitieth them to see her in the dust.

Translations[edit]

Interjection[edit]

pity!

  1. Short form of what a pity.

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Derived terms[edit]


Lower Sorbian[edit]

Verb[edit]

pity

  1. perfect passive participle of piś

Declension[edit]