I. noun (plural pities) Etymology: Middle English pite, from Anglo-French pité, from Latin pietat-, pietas piety, pity, from pius pious Date: 13th century 1. a. sympathetic sorrow for one suffering, distressed, or unhappy b. capacity to feel pity 2. something to be regretted <
it's a pity you can't go
Synonyms: pity, compassion, commiseration, condolence, sympathy mean the act or capacity for sharing the painful feelings of another. pity implies tender or sometimes slightly contemptuous sorrow for one in misery or distress <
felt pity for the captives
. compassion implies pity coupled with an urgent desire to aid or to spare <
treats the homeless with great compassion
. commiseration suggests pity expressed outwardly in exclamations, tears, or words of comfort <
murmurs of commiseration filled the loser's headquarters
. condolence applies chiefly to formal expression of grief to one who has suffered loss <
expressed their condolences to the widow
. sympathy often suggests a tender concern but can also imply a power to enter into another's emotional experience of any sort <
went to my best friend for sympathy
in sympathy with her desire to locate her natural parents
. II. verb (pitied; pitying) Date: 15th century transitive verb to feel pity for intransitive verb to feel pity

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pity — implies tender or sometimes slightly contemptuous sorrow for one in misery or distress. By the nineteenth century, two different kinds of pity had come to be distinguished, which we might call benevolent pity and contemptuous pity (see Kimball).… …   Wikipedia

  • pity — [pit′ē] n. pl. pities [ME pite < OFr pitet < L pietas: see PIETY] 1. sorrow felt for another s suffering or misfortune; compassion; sympathy 2. the ability to feel such compassion 3. a cause for sorrow or regret vt., vi. pitied, pitying [ …   English World dictionary

  • Pity — Pit y, n.; pl. {Pities}. [OE. pite, OF. pit[ e], piti[ e], F. piti[ e], L. pietas piety, kindness, pity. See {Pious}, and cf. {Piety}.] 1. Piety. [Obs.] Wyclif. [1913 Webster] 2. A feeling for the sufferings or distresses of another or others;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pity — ► NOUN (pl. pities) 1) a feeling of sorrow and compassion caused by the sufferings of others. 2) a cause for regret or disappointment. ► VERB (pities, pitied) ▪ feel pity for. ● for pity s sake …   English terms dictionary

  • pity — (n.) early 13c., from O.Fr. pite, pitet (11c., Mod.Fr. pitié), from L. pietatem (nom. pietas) piety, affection, duty, in L.L. gentleness, kindness, pity, from pius (see PIOUS (Cf. pious)). Replaced O.E. mildheortness, lit. mild heartness, itself… …   Etymology dictionary

  • pity — [n1] feeling of mercy toward another benevolence, charity, clemency, comfort, commiseration, compassion, compunction, condolement, condolence, dejection, distress, empathy, favor, forbearance, goodness, grace, humanity, kindliness, kindness,… …   New thesaurus

  • Pity — Pit y, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Pitied}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Pitying}.] 1. To feel pity or compassion for; to have sympathy with; to compassionate; to commiserate; to have tender feelings toward (any one), awakened by a knowledge of suffering. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Pity — Pit y, v. i. To be compassionate; to show pity. [1913 Webster] I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy. Jer. xiii. 14. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pity — pity·ing; pity; pity·ing·ly; …   English syllables

  • pity — The type Pity we can t get this to work is an acceptable conversational shortening of It is a pity that… …   Modern English usage

  • Pity — (Pitje), holländische Benennung der japanischen u. chinesischen Scheidemünze, deren man sonst auf Java 50 auf den Stüber rechnete …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

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