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



    BrE BrE//ˈsɪmpəθi//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɪmpəθi//
    (pl. sympathies) Kind, Friendly
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  1. 1  [uncountable, countable, usually plural] the feeling of being sorry for somebody; showing that you understand and care about somebody’s problems to express/feel sympathy for somebody I have no sympathy for Jan, it's all her own fault. I wish he'd show me a little more sympathy. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the victims of the war. (formal) May we offer our deepest sympathies on the death of your wife. Express YourselfExpressing sympathyIf someone is ill, or something bad has happened to them, you can show them that you are sorry: I'm sorry you're not well. I hope you feel better soon. I am sorry to hear that. That's bad luck. How awful for you. I'm sorry for your loss (when somebody has died). Wordfinderamends, apologize, ashamed, embarrassed, forgive, regret, remorse, repent, sorry, sympathy See related entries: Kind
  2. 2  [uncountable, countable, usually plural] the act of showing support for or approval of an idea, a cause, an organization, etc. The seamen went on strike in sympathy with (= to show their support for) the dockers. Her sympathies lie with the anti-abortion lobby.
  3. 3[uncountable] friendship and understanding between people who have similar opinions or interests There was no personal sympathy between them. See related entries: Friendly
  4. Word Originlate 16th cent.: via Latin from Greek sumpatheia, from sumpathēs, from sun- ‘with’ + pathos ‘feeling’.Extra examples He acted with some sympathy towards his victim. He didn’t get much sympathy from anyone. He has a total lack of sympathy for young people. I don’t want your sympathy! I felt a pang of sympathy for her. I’m not looking for sympathy. It’s hard to find any sympathy for such an evil man. My sympathy lies with his wife. Nurses came out on strike in sympathy with the doctors. Our deepest sympathy goes out to his wife and family. She expressed her deepest sympathy for him. She had every sympathy with him. She married him more out of sympathy than love. She says I haven’t given her enough sympathy. She seemed to feel some sympathy for the patients. The government showed sympathy to their cause. Their plight aroused considerable public sympathy. We extend our sympathy to the families of the victims. a total lack of human sympathy I have no sympathy for Jan; it’s all her own fault. I wish he’d show me a little more sympathy. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the victims of the war.Idioms
    in sympathy with something
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    happening because something else has happened Share prices slipped in sympathy with the German market.
    out of sympathy with somebody/something
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    not agreeing with or not wanting to support somebody/something
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: sympathy