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sympathy

2 definitions found

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Sympathy \Sym"pa*thy\, noun; pl. {Sympathies}. [F. sympathie, L. sympathia, Gr. ?; sy'n with + ? suffering, passion, fr. ?, ?, to suffer. See {Syn-}, and {Pathos}.]

1. 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.

They saw, but other sight instead -- a crowd Of ugly serpents! Horror on them fell, And horrid sympathy. --Milton.

2. An agreement of affections or inclinations, or a conformity of natural temperament, which causes persons to be pleased, or in accord, with one another; as, there is perfect sympathy between them.

3. Kindness of feeling toward one who suffers; pity; commiseration; compassion.

I value myself upon sympathy, I hate and despise myself for envy. --Kames.

4. (Physiol. & Med.) (a) 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. (b) The influence of a certain psychological state in one person in producing a like state in another.

Note: In the original 1890 work, sense (b) was described as: "That relation which exists between different persons by which one of them produces in the others a state or condition like that of himself. This is shown in the tendency to yawn which a person often feels on seeing another yawn, or the strong inclination to become hysteric experienced by many women on seeing another person suffering with hysteria." [Webster 1913 Suppl. +PJC]

5. A tendency of inanimate things to unite, or to act on each other; as, the sympathy between the loadstone and iron. [R.]

6. Similarity of function, use office, or the like.

The adverb has most sympathy with the verb. --Earle.

Syn: Pity; fellow-feeling; compassion; commiseration; tenderness; condolence; agreement.

Usage: {Sympathy}, {Commiseration}. Sympathy is literally a fellow-feeling with others in their varied conditions of joy or of grief. This term, however, is now more commonly applied to a fellow-feeling with others under affliction, and then coincides very nearly with commiseration. In this case it is commonly followed by for; as, to feel sympathy for a friend when we see him distressed. The verb sympathize is followed by with; as, to sympathize with a friend in his distresses or enjoyments. "Every man would be a distinct species to himself, were there no sympathy among individuals." --South. See {Pity}.

Fault, Acknowledged and deplored, in Adam wrought Commiseration. --Milton.

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:

sympathy

noun

1: an inclination to support or be loyal to or to agree with an opinion; "his sympathies were always with the underdog"; "I knew I could count on his understanding" [syn: {sympathy}, {understanding}]

2: sharing the feelings of others (especially feelings of sorrow or anguish) [syn: {sympathy}, {fellow feeling}]

3: a relation of affinity or harmony between people; whatever affects one correspondingly affects the other; "the two of them were in close sympathy"

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Definitions retrieved from the Open Source DICT English and WordNet 3.0 dictionaries. Click here for database copyright information.

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