Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search



From Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin compassio (sympathy), from compati, past participle compassus (to suffer together with), from Latin com- (together) + pati (to suffer); see passion.



compassion (usually uncountable, plural compassions)

  1. Deep awareness of the suffering of another, coupled with the wish to relieve it.
    • 1849, Robert Leighton (Archbishop of Glasgow), A practical commentary upon the first Epistle of St. Peter (page 47)
      Oh! the unspeakable privilege to have Him for our Father, who is the Father of mercies and compassions, and those not barren, fruitless pityings, for He is withal the God of all consolations.
    • 2002, Werner J. Krieglstein, Compassion: A New Philosophy of the Other, page 149,
      In many ways, people today lack compassion as a way to internalize and experience the inner soul of the other person, animals, and the universe. We need to reintroduce compassion so humanity may survive.
    • 2008, Richard Reilly, Ethics of Compassion: Bridging Ethical Theory and Religious Moral Discourse, page 1,
      Ethics of compassion are grounded in one's mindful commitment to one's own happiness with the recognition that the well being that one wishes for oneself also is wished for by others.


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]



compassion (third-person singular simple present compassions, present participle compassioning, simple past and past participle compassioned)

  1. (obsolete) To pity.
    • 1607, William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of Titus Andronicus, IV. i. 124:
      O heavens, can you hear a good man groan / And not relent, or not compassion him?
    • 1830, The Last of the Supernaturalists, in James Fraser (editor), Fraser's Magazine, Volume 1, page 226,
      Both wanted in early life the one thing essential to every individual, of whatever nature or degree of intellect, a kind, compassioning adviser; - a true friend; [] .
    • 1836, William A. Brewer, The Widow's Son, in Recreations of a Merchant; Or, The Christian Sketch-book, page 27,
      The widow's tears flowed wildly. / But Oh! a harbinger of life approached — / God, manifest in flesh — compassioned her, / And bade her weep no more.

Further reading[edit]


French Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia fr



compassion f (plural compassions)

  1. compassion, pity

Further reading[edit]