Definition of pity noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈpɪti//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpɪti//
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  1. 1  [uncountable] pity (for somebody/something) a feeling of sympathy and sadness caused by the suffering and troubles of others I could only feel pity for what they were enduring. He had no pity for her. a look/feeling/surge of pity I took pity on her and lent her the money. (formal) I beg you to have pity on him. I don't want your pity.
  2. 2  [singular] used to show that you are disappointed about something synonym shame a pity (that…) It's a pity that you can't stay longer. ‘I've lost it!’ ‘Oh, what a pity.’ What a pity that she didn't tell me earlier. a pity (to do something) It seems a pity to waste this food. This dress is really nice. Pity it's so expensive. Oh, that's a pity. It would be a great pity if you gave up now.
  3. Word OriginMiddle English (also in the sense ‘clemency, mildness’): from Old French pite ‘compassion’, from Latin pietas ‘piety’; compare with piety.Word Familypity noun verbpitiful adjectivepitiless adjectivepitiable adjectivepiteous adjectiveExtra examples I threw the child some money out of pity. I took pity on him and allowed him to stay. She was full of pity for him. That would be rather a pity, wouldn’t it? The place was great, but it was a pity about the weather. We begged him to have pity on us. What a pity you didn’t tell me earlier! a cruel leader without pity an unfortunate man who inspires pity ‘I’ve lost it!‘ ‘Oh, what a pity.’ ‘Was the bicycle insured?’ ‘No, more’s the pity!’ I don’t want your pity! It’s a pity that you can’t stay longer. Oh, that’s a pity. She experienced a sudden feeling of pity for the young man. This dress is really nice. Pity it’s so expensive.Idioms (informal) unfortunately ‘Was the bicycle insured?’ ‘No, more's the pity!’
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: pity

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