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A pseudo-Latin form of French compassionné, past participle of compassionner (feel sorry for).


  • (UK, adjective) IPA(key): /kəmˈpaʃənət/
  • (UK, verb) IPA(key): /kəmˈpaʃəneɪt/


compassionate (comparative more compassionate, superlative most compassionate)

  1. Having, feeling or showing compassion; sympathetic.
    • South
      There never was any heart truly great and generous, that was not also tender and compassionate.
  2. Of a leave, given to someone because of a domestic emergency.
    compassionate leave
  3. (obsolete) Inviting pity; pitiable.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)




compassionate (third-person singular simple present compassionates, present participle compassionating, simple past and past participle compassionated)

  1. (archaic) To feel compassion for; to pity, feel sorry for.
    • 1903, William Godwin, Caleb Williams[1]:
      And yet I could not help bitterly compassionating the honest fellow, brought to the gallows, as he was, strictly speaking, by the machinations of that devil incarnate, Mr. Tyrrel.
    • 1895, J. Sheridan Le Fanu, The Evil Guest[2]:
      The good Mrs. Mervyn accompanied these words with looks so sly, and emphasis so significant, that Rhoda was fain to look down, to hide her blushes; and compassionating the confusion she herself had caused, the kind old lady led her to the chamber which was henceforward, so long as she consented to remain, to be her own apartment.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, Tom Jones, Folio Society 1973, p. 50:
      The justice which Mr Allworthy had executed on Partridge at first met with universal approbation; but no sooner had he felt its consequences, than his neighbours began to relent, and to compassionate his case []





  1. second-person plural present indicative of compassionare
  2. second-person plural imperative of compassionare
  3. feminine plural of compassionato