from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A relationship or an affinity between people or things in which whatever affects one correspondingly affects the other.
- n. Mutual understanding or affection arising from this relationship or affinity.
- n. The act or power of sharing the feelings of another.
- n. A feeling or an expression of pity or sorrow for the distress of another; compassion or commiseration. Often used in the plural. See Synonyms at pity.
- n. Harmonious agreement; accord: He is in sympathy with their beliefs.
- n. A feeling of loyalty; allegiance. Often used in the plural: His sympathies lie with his family.
- n. Physiology A relation between parts or organs by which a disease or disorder in one induces an effect in the other.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A feeling of pity or sorrow for the suffering or distress of another; compassion.
- n. The ability to share the feelings of another;
- n. A mutual relationship between people or things such that they are correspondingly affected by any condition.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Feeling corresponding to that which another feels; the quality of being affected by the affection of another, with feelings correspondent in kind, if not in degree; fellow-feeling.
- n. An agreement of affections or inclinations, or a conformity of natural temperament, which causes persons to be pleased, or in accord, with one another.
- n. Kindness of feeling toward one who suffers; pity; commiseration; compassion.
- n. The reciprocal influence exercised by organs or parts on one another, as shown in the effects of a diseased condition of one part on another part or organ, as in the vomiting produced by a tumor of the brain.
- n. The influence of a certain psychological state in one person in producing a like state in another.
- n. A tendency of inanimate things to unite, or to act on each other.
- n. Similarity of function, use office, or the like.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Feeling identical with or resembling that which another feels; the quality or state of being affected with feelings or emotions corresponding in kind if not in degree to those which another experiences: said of pleasure or pain, but especially of the latter; fellow-feeling; commiseration; compassion.
- n. An agreement of affections or inclinations, or a conformity of natural disposition which makes two persons agreeable each to the other; mutual or reciprocal inclination or affection; sympathetic interest: in this sense commonly followed by with: as, to have sympathy with a person in his hopes, aspirations, or aims.
- n. In physiology and pathology: That state of an organ or a tissue which has a certain relation to the condition of another organ or tissue in health and disease; a related state of the vital manifestations or actions in different organs or tissues, such that when one part is excited or affected others are also affected; that relation of the organs and parts of a living body to each other whereby a disordered condition of one part induces more or less disorder in another part: as, for example, the pain in the brow caused by taking a draught of cold water into the stomach, the pain in the right shoulder arising from disease of the liver, or the irritation and vomiting produced by a tumor of the brain.
- n. The influence which the physiological or pathological state of one individual has in producing the same or an analogous state in another at the same time or in rapid succession, as exemplified in the hysterical convulsions which affect a number of women on seeing one of their companions suffering from hysteria, or the yawning produced by seeing an other yawn.
- n. Physical action at a distance (so used by old writers against astrology, who argue that the influence of the stars is not physical sympathy and not moral sympathy, and therefore does not exist at all): as, the sympathy between the lodestone and iron.
- n. In acoustics, the fact, condition, or result of such a relation between two vibratile bodies that when one is thrown into vibration the other tends to vibrate in a similar or related way, in consequence of the vibrations communicated to it through the air or some other medium.
- n. Affinity, harmony.
- To sympathize.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. sharing the feelings of others (especially feelings of sorrow or anguish)
- n. a relation of affinity or harmony between people; whatever affects one correspondingly affects the other
- n. an inclination to support or be loyal to or to agree with an opinion
Latin sympathīa, from Greek sumpatheia, from sumpathēs, affected by like feelings : sun-, syn- + pathos, emotion; see kwent(h)- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle French sympathie, from Late Latin sympathia, from Ancient Greek συμπάθεια (sumpatheia), from σύν (sun, "with, together") + πάθος (pathos, "suffering"). (Wiktionary)