Borrowed from Middle French sympathie, from Late Latin sympathīa (“feeling in common”), from Ancient Greek σῠμπᾰ́θειᾰ (sumpátheia, “fellow feeling”), from σῠμπᾰθής (sumpathḗs, “affected by like feelings; exerting mutual influence, interacting”) + -ῐᾰ (-ia, “-y”, nominal suffix). Equivalent to sym- (“acting or considered together”) + -pathy (“feeling”). Displaced native Old English efnþrōwung (literally “suffering with or together”).
- A feeling of pity or sorrow for the suffering or distress of another.
- 2018, Sergeant first class Greg Stube, Conquer Anything: A Green Beret’s Guide to Building Your A-Team:
- Synonym: compassion
- Inclination to think or feel alike; emotional or intellectual accord; common feeling.
- An affinity, association or mutual relationship between people or things such that they are correspondingly affected by any condition.
- 1858, William Whewell, History of the Inductive Sciences:
- He observed, also, the frequent sympathy of volcanic and terremotive action in remote districts of the earth's surface, thus showing how deeply seated must be the cause of these convulsions.
- 1936, Rollo Ahmed, The Black Art, London: Long, page 121:
- A peculiarity of were-animals is the sympathy that exists between their animal form and that of the human with whom it is connected.
- 1960 December, “The riding of B.R. coaches”, in Trains Illustrated, page 706:
- The solution to coach riding defects, at least, seems to require much more co-operative practical experiment by all engineering departments to achieve better sympathy between the vehicle body, its undercarriage and the track on which it rides.
- Used similarly to empathy, interchangeably in looser usage. In stricter usage, empathy is stronger and more intimate, while sympathy is weaker and more distant; see empathy: usage notes.
- contempt (context-dependent)
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.