from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it. See Synonyms at pity.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Deep awareness of the suffering of another, coupled with the wish to relieve it
  • v. To pity.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Literally, suffering with another; a sensation of sorrow excited by the distress or misfortunes of another; pity; commiseration.
  • transitive v. To pity.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To compassionate; pity; commiserate.
  • n. Literally, a suffering with another; hence, a feeling of sorrow or pity excited by the sufferings or misfortunes of another; sympathy; commiseration; pity.
  • n. [Twice used in the plural in the authorized version of the Bible.
  • n. Synonyms Commiseration, Sympathy, etc. (see pity), kindness, tenderness, clemency, fellow-feeling.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the humane quality of understanding the suffering of others and wanting to do something about it
  • n. a deep awareness of and sympathy for another's suffering


Middle English compassioun, from Late Latin compassiō, compassiōn-, from compassus, past participle of compatī, to sympathize : Latin com-, com- + Latin patī, to suffer; see pē(i)- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin compassio ("sympathy"), from compati, past participle compassus ("to suffer together with"), from Latin com- ("together") + pati ("to suffer"); see passion. (Wiktionary)



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