Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: GROUPINGS

Date: 1500-1600
Language: Latin
Origin: sympathia, from Greek sympatheia, from sympathes 'sharing feelings, sympathetic', from syn- ( SYN-) + pathos 'feelings'

sympathy

noun
     
sym‧pa‧thy plural sympathies
1 [plural,uncountable] the feeling of being sorry for someone who is in a bad situation
sympathy for
I have a lot of sympathy for her; she had to bring up the children on her own.
I have absolutely no sympathy for students who get caught cheating in exams.
She wrote a letter expressing her sympathy.
play on somebody's sympathy (=make someone feel sorry for you in order to gain an advantage for yourself)
We would like to pass on our deepest sympathy to Ken's wife Marjorie.
Our sympathies are with the families of the victims.
My sympathies go out to the boy's mother.
message/letter of sympathy
The victim's parents have received thousands of messages of sympathy.
2PPG [plural,uncountable] belief in or support for a plan, idea, or action, especially a political one
in sympathy with something
Willard is in sympathy with many Green Party issues.
Her sympathies lie firmly with the Conservative Party.
communist/Republican/left-wing etc sympathies
Matheson is known for his pro-socialist sympathies.
sympathy with/for
Sullivan expressed sympathy for the striking federal workers.
3 [uncountable] a feeling that you understand someone because you are similar to them:
There was no personal sympathy between them.
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