noun (plural sympathies)[mass noun]
- 1Feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune: they had great sympathy for the flood victimsMore example sentences
- From this side of the water, one can have some sympathy with that frustration.
- I have considerable sympathy with Mr S on this aspect of the case.
- I have absolute sympathy with the friends and families of anyone that's suffered in anything like this.
- 1.1 (one's sympathies) The formal expression of pity or sorrow for someone else’s misfortune: all Tony’s friends joined in sending their sympathies to his widow JeanMore example sentences
- Our sympathies and condolences go to the victims of this incident and the people of London.
- Our condolences and sympathies go to the families of the Hon John Falloon and Jack Luxton.
- In this case, one's sympathies go out to the performers who have a living to earn.
- 2Understanding between people; common feeling: the special sympathy between the two boys was obvious to allMore example sentences
- Understanding begins with sympathy - recognition of the shared human condition.
- To receive, you must give, and not just in words and gestures but in true sympathy, understanding and commitment.
- He feels that he is receiving less than his share and that there is no one on whom he can rely for sympathy and understanding.
- 2.1 (sympathies) Support in the form of shared feelings or opinions: his sympathies lay with his constituentsMore example sentences
- The Duke of Windsor - for years held up as a romantic figure who abdicated for love - shared those sympathies.
- He also supports Glasgow Rangers, while he's also got Chelsea sympathies.
- In both, secessionist sympathies are much wider than support for terrorism and have a much longer history.
- 2.2Agreement with or approval of an opinion or aim; a favourable attitude: I have some sympathy for this viewMore example sentences
- However, such a claim is unlikely to attract judicial sympathy for two reasons.
- Keegan deserves a moment of sympathy for his honest comments, but not much more than a moment.
- An opinion poll last week showed there is widespread sympathy for the strikes.
- 2.3 (in sympathy) Relating harmoniously to something else; in keeping: repairs had to be in sympathy with the original structureMore example sentences
- I long to live in a culture with which I feel in harmony and in sympathy.
- GMO products should exist in sympathy with the world's food chain.
- To begin with, it must be a quality scheme, with any new buildings being in sympathy with the area and with the Cathedral Close's distinct character.
- 3The state or fact of responding in a way similar or corresponding to an action elsewhere: the magnetic field oscillates in sympathyMore example sentences
- The inner ear has small hairs rooted in fluid and when tympanic responses from sound goes through three small bones the hairs vibrate, or oscillate in sympathy.
- Very few bells to be found on these rare instruments even if there are many strings vibrating in sympathy.
- And foreign creditors are getting a double whammy, as bond prices have begun to fall in sympathy with the dollar.
late 16th century (in sense 3): via Latin from Greek sumpatheia, from sumpathēs, from sun- 'with' + pathos 'feeling'.
On the difference between sympathy and empathy, see empathy (usage).