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See also: sympathise


Alternative forms[edit]


French sympathiser


sympathize (third-person singular simple present sympathizes, present participle sympathizing, simple past and past participle sympathized) (Canada, US)

  1. To show sympathy; to be affected by feelings similar to those of another, in consequence of knowing the person to be thus affected.
    • Addison
      Their countrymen [] sympathized with their heroes in all their adventures.
  2. To have a common feeling, as of bodily pleasure or pain.
    • Buckminster
      The mind will sympathize so much with the anguish and debility of the body, that it will be too distracted to fix itself in meditation.
  3. To agree; to be in accord; to harmonize.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Dryden to this entry?)

Usage notes[edit]

Used similarly to empathize, interchangeably in looser usage. In stricter usage, empathize is stronger and more intimate, while sympathize is weaker and more distant. See empathy: usage notes.

Further, the general “agree, accord” sense of sympathize is not shared with empathize.