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[em-puh-thahyz] /ˈɛm pəˌθaɪz/
verb (used without object), empathized, empathizing.
to experience empathy (often followed by with):
His ability to empathize with people made him an excellent marriage counselor.
Also, especially British, empathise.
Origin of empathize
1920-25; empath(y) + -ize
Can be confused
empathize, sympathize. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for empathize
  • Female moviegoers tend to empathize with their troubles.
  • Fallacies and irregularites confound my ability to empathize.
  • One of the messages of today's youth to us over 30 is that you have to empathize and get with what's happening.
  • Reading the novel this way, students empathize with Holden's despair and loss.
  • Readers will easily empathize with this heroine and the numerous obstacles on her road to independence.
  • Many children will empathize with Harvey and his sloppiness, and recognize the familiar items that lurk under beds and in closets.
  • He is an inspiration to many who empathize with the powerless, the down-trodden and the forgotten in society.
  • Someone else that has experienced horrific humanity would be able to empathize.
  • His inability to empathize with common folk had long been his hoary hoodoo.
  • Although many reporters have families and will empathize with you, their job is to give the public an interesting story.
British Dictionary definitions for empathize


(intransitive) to engage in or feel empathy
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 empathize

1924, in psychology, from empathy + -ize. Related: Empathized; empathizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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empathize in Medicine

empathize em·pa·thize (ěm'pə-thīz')
v. em·pa·thized, em·pa·thiz·ing, em·pa·thiz·es
To feel empathy in relation to another person.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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