From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishsympathysym‧pa‧thy /ˈsɪmpəθi/ ●●○ W3 noun (plural sympathies) 1 SYMPATHIZE[plural, uncountable] the feeling of being sorry for someone who is in a bad situationsympathy 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. Our sympathies are with the families of the victims.2 PPGSUPPORT A PERSON, GROUP, OR PLAN[plural, uncountable] belief in or support for a plan, idea, or action, especially a political onein 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]UNDERSTAND a feeling that you understand someone because you are similar to them There was no personal sympathy between them.COLLOCATIONSverbshave/feel sympathy for somebodyIt’s hard not to feel sympathy for the losing team.express/offer (your) sympathyEveryone there expressed their sympathy.get sympathy from somebodyI thought at least I’d get some sympathy from you.deserve sympathyHe doesn't deserve any sympathy - it's his own fault.play on somebody’s sympathy (=make someone feel sorry for you in order to get an advantage for yourself)If that doesn’t work, she knows how to play on his sympathy.expect sympathyI know I can’t expect any sympathy from her!adjectivesdeep/deepest sympathy (=used when someone is upset after a death)We'd like to offer our deepest sympathy to Hilda and her family.great sympathyI have great sympathy for the people affected by the housing crisis.phrasesa message/letter of sympathyWe are grateful for all the messages of sympathy we have received.an expression of sympathyI murmured an expression of sympathy.have every sympathy for somebody (=feel very sorry for someone - often used when you have had a similar experience yourself)I have every sympathy for people who find it hard to give up smoking. you have my sympathy (=used when saying that you feel sorry for someone)It must be difficult – you have my sympathy.extend your sympathy to somebody formal (=express sympathy)I’d like to extend my deepest sympathy to the victim’s family.my/our sympathy goes out to somebody formal (=used to formally express sympathy)Our sympathy goes out to Peggy in her great loss.
Examples from the Corpussympathy• The Prime Minister expressed outrage at the attack, and sympathy for the families of the victims.• The trip also is intended to raise money and sympathy for the plight of the Tibetan people.• There was no cause for any sympathy at that time.• You have my deepest sympathy, and my thoughts are with you.• By showing the parts that came to make the whole, Albee allows for sympathy.• I'm not asking for sympathy.• Relatives of the aircrash victims were treated with great sympathy.• He's about as likely to have sympathy for the devil as he is to have satisfaction.• The best writers manage to have sympathy for all their characters; there is always more than one side to represent.• Now he began to wonder if his sympathy was misplaced.• Garrison, in sympathy, sat with them for the rest of the convention.• Five hundred spectators groaned in sympathy.• The longest story is so full of pathos that the joke lines elicit only sympathy, not laughter.• She looked at him with sympathy.sympathy with/for• Do you feel a certain sympathy with this point of view?• Lightman immediately creates sympathy for Bennett, and yet holds him at a discreet distance.• You might feel sympathy with her action and offer verbal or actual support.• One person ill be in sympathy with Coldilocks' difficulties in making her peace with being a girl; another will not.• Yet there can be no sympathy for Cambridge missing out on their ninth away win of the season.• Experience has too often shown that problems arise where there is a lack of sympathy with the Church and its worshippers.• Prosecution only fed a growing public sympathy for her and her cause.• Douglas had a moment's sympathy for him.