Definition of pity in English:


Line breaks: pity
Pronunciation: /ˈpɪti

noun (plural pities)

  • 2 [in singular] A cause for regret or disappointment: it’s a pity you didn’t contact us first what a pity we can’t be friends
    More example sentences
    • In the end, it's a pity because the situation could have been handled a lot better and without the angst and tears.
    • It's such a pity, when perfectly reasonable tinned crab is available in the supermarkets!
    • This enforced secrecy is a pity, because Lalonde might have some useful advice to offer his cousin.
    shame, crying shame, cause for regret/disappointment, source of regret, sad thing, unfortunate thing, bad luck, misfortune
    informal crime, bummer, sin

verb (pities, pitying, pitied)

[with object] Back to top  


for pity's sake

informal Used to express impatience or make an urgent appeal: for pity’s sake, get a move on!
More example sentences
  • Look, will you just shut up about the band, for pity's sake?
  • I'm 36, for pity's sake, and I'm not a defenseless kid now.
  • I mean, for pity's sake, just read one, can't you?

more's the pity

informal Used to express regret about a fact that has just been stated: you’re not the one who has to pay the bills, more’s the pity
More example sentences
  • Well, I'm not as sick as I was, and more's the pity.
  • You can't bring cameras into the dungeon, more's the pity.
  • Shafer and Gore apparently don't see it that way; more's the pity.

take (or have) pity

Show compassion: the old couple took pity on him and gave him food
More example sentences
  • Perhaps you, too, may laugh at me, but you will relent and have pity on me.
  • Finally she took pity on me, and explained that she was Romanian.
  • I allowed him to stay at my home because I took pity on him.
feel sorry for, relent, show sympathy for, show compassion towards, be compassionate towards, be sympathetic/charitable towards, have mercy on, show mercy to, help, help out, put someone out of their misery



More example sentences
  • His father said pityingly, in an offhand manner, ‘I suppose you wanted to say that earlier.’
  • Tash looked pityingly at me and said, ‘Mel, in here we're the hipsters.’
  • I smile pityingly at those Johnnies-come-lately who claim they alone have the key to man's salvation.


Middle English (also in the sense 'clemency, mildness'): from Old French pite 'compassion', from Latin pietas 'piety'; compare with piety.

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Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody