Denotation vs. Connotation


[adj. kuh m-pash-uh-nit; v. kuh m-pash-uh-neyt] /adj. kəmˈpæʃ ə nɪt; v. kəmˈpæʃ əˌneɪt/
having or showing compassion:
a compassionate person; a compassionate letter.
granted in an emergency:
compassionate military leave granted to attend a funeral.
Obsolete, pitiable.
verb (used with object), compassionated, compassionating.
Archaic. to pity or have compassion for.
Origin of compassionate
1580-90; compassion + -ate1
Related forms
compassionately, adverb
compassionateness, noun
uncompassionate, adjective
uncompassionately, adverb
uncompassionateness, noun
1. pitying, sympathizing, sympathetic, tender. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for compassionately
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She was looking at Lydia with her kind look, but, Lydia could also see, compassionately.

    The Prisoner Alice Brown
  • "It is very dull for you, indeed," said he, compassionately.

    The Bramleighs Of Bishop's Folly Charles James Lever
  • He has tried, compassionately tried, to keep his secret sorrow from discovery, and he has failed.

    The Evil Genius Wilkie Collins
  • "I'll carry your basket a piece," said Tom, compassionately.

    Uncle Tom's Cabin Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • The World, in its gentlest mood of indulgence, will say compassionately, 'Poor man!

    A Strange Story, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • Reston-Farrell said compassionately, "Try this, it's excellent cognac."

    Gun for Hire Dallas McCord Reynolds
  • "It is just breaking Sara's heart that she can't," said Cecily compassionately.

    The Golden Road Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • "I'm afraid it is, sir—in a way," he remarked, compassionately.

    The Tinted Venus F. Anstey
British Dictionary definitions for compassionately


showing or having compassion
compassionate leave, leave granted, esp to a serviceman, on the grounds of bereavement, family illness, etc
Derived Forms
compassionately, adverb
compassionateness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for compassionately



1580s, from compassion + -ate (1). Related: Compassionately. Phrase compassionate conservatism in American political language recorded by 1992, popularized, if not coined, by Marvin Olasky, University of Texas at Austin instructor.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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