Definition of pity in English:


Syllabification: pit·y
Pronunciation: /ˈpidē

noun (plural pities)

1The feeling of sorrow and compassion caused by the suffering and misfortunes of others: her voice was full of pity
More example sentences
  • He had no pity, no compassion, no understanding of what the victims of war suffered.
  • Some said that to heal this rift in the Malay ground, some pity, or compassion, must be shown to Anwar.
  • A good number of her early poems attempt to work on the reader's sense of pity and compassion.
compassion, commiseration, condolence, sympathy, fellow feeling, understanding;
sorrow, regret, sadness
2 [in singular] A cause for regret or disappointment: 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, sad thing, bad luck, misfortune
informal crime, bummer, sin

verb (pities, pitying, pitied)

[with object] Back to top  
Feel sorrow for the misfortunes of: Clare didn’t know whether to envy or pity them (as adjective pitying) he gave her a pitying look
More example sentences
  • They were pitied, but few shared empathy with their hopes and dreams.
  • She is pitying my cynical singledom, and I am worrying about her future.
  • Well, when you stop being frightened of someone and then you stop pitying them, there's not really a lot left.
feel sorry for, feel for, sympathize with, empathize with, commiserate with, take pity on, be moved by, grieve for


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


for pity's sake

informal Used to express impatience or make an urgent appeal.
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.
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: they 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, be compassionate toward, be sympathetic toward, have mercy on, 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.

Definition of pity in:

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Pronunciation: dəˈmôrəˌlīz
cause (someone) to lose confidence or hope; dispirit