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Alternative forms[edit]


sympathize +‎ -er


sympathizer (plural sympathizers)

  1. (often derogatory) A person who sympathizes (with a political cause, a side in a conflict, etc.); a supporter.
    His reputation was ruined when it was revealed that he had been a Nazi sympathizer before the war.
    • 1869, Sarah Hopkins Bradford, Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman[1], Auburn, NY: W.J. Moses, page 102:
      [] she exposed herself to the fury of the sympathizers with slavery, without fear, and suffered their blows without flinching.
    • 1934 October, George Orwell [pseudonym; Eric Arthur Blair], “Chapter 13”, in Burmese Days, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, →OCLC:
      [] And I tell you that the slightest suspicion of my loyalty could be ruin for me, ruin! If it were ever breathed that I were even a sympathiser with this rebellion, there iss an end of me.’
    • 2013, Nadeem Aslam, chapter 4, in The Blind Man’s Garden, London: Faber & Faber:
      The Ardent Spirit pupils now belong to him alone and through them he’ll set his plans in motion, moulding them to be warrior saints, brilliant in deceit against the West and its sympathisers here at home.
  2. (now rare) A person who has, shows or expresses sympathy (with another person or people); a person who enters into the feelings of another.
    • 1655, George Hutcheson, A Brief Exposition on the XII Small Prophets[2], London: Ralph Smith, Prophecy of Amos, page 157:
      [] it is a sad case when the truly godly, who are cordial sympathizers, and earnest intercessours in the straits of a Nation, are stricken dumb in a day of calamity []
    • 1748, [Samuel Richardson], “Letter LX”, in Clarissa. Or, The History of a Young Lady: [], volume VII, London: [] S[amuel] Richardson;  [], →OCLC, page 220:
      [] I am a sympathizer in every part of thy distress, except (and yet it is cruel to say it) in That which arises from thy guilt.
    • 1855, Elizabeth Gaskell, chapter 41, in North and South[3]:
      Not a mood of his but what found a ready sympathiser in Margaret; not a wish of his that she did not strive to forecast, and to fulfil.

Derived terms[edit]


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