Definitions for: Sympathy

[n] 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"
[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; "the two of them were in close sympathy"

Webster (1913) Definition: Sym"pa*thy, n. (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.

Sym"pa*thy, n.; 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;

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

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.)
(a) The reciprocal influence exercised by the various
organs or parts of the body on one another, as
manifested in the transmission of a disease by unknown
means from one organ to another quite remote, or in
the influence exerted by a diseased condition of one
part on another part or organ, as in the vomiting
produced by a tumor of the brain.
(b) 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.

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

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.

Synonyms: fellow feeling, understanding

See Also: affinity, commiseration, compassion, compassionateness, compatibility, concern, disposition, empathy, feeling, inclination, kindheartedness, kinship, mutual affection, mutual understanding, pathos, pity, rapport, ruth, tendency

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