- 1sympathetic (to/toward somebody) kind to someone who is hurt or sad; showing that you understand and care about their problems a sympathetic listener I did not feel at all sympathetic toward Kate. I'm here if you need a sympathetic ear (= someone to talk to about your problems). a sympathetic response She was very sympathetic when I was sick.
- 2 sympathetic (to/toward somebody/something) showing that you approve of someone or something or that you share their views and are willing to support them to be sympathetic to youthful rebellion Russian newspapers are largely sympathetic to the president.
- 3 (of a person) easy to like a sympathetic character in a novel I don't find her a very sympathetic person. opposite unsympathetic
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NAmE//ˌsɪmpəˈθɛt̮ɪkli//adverb to smile at someone sympathetically The teacher listened sympathetically to the student's problems.