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pity

[pit-ee] /ˈpɪt i/
noun, plural pities.
1.
sympathetic or kindly sorrow evoked by the suffering, distress, or misfortune of another, often leading one to give relief or aid or to show mercy:
to feel pity for astarving child.
2.
a cause or reason for pity, sorrow, or regret:
What a pity you could not go!
verb (used with object), pitied, pitying.
3.
to feel pity or compassion for; be sorry for; commiserate with.
verb (used without object), pitied, pitying.
4.
to have compassion; feel pity.
Idioms
5.
have / take pity, to show mercy or compassion.
Origin
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English pite < Old French pite, earlier pitet < Latin pietāt- (stem of pietās) piety
Related forms
outpity, verb (used with object), outpitied, outpitying.
unpitied, adjective
Synonyms
1. commiseration, compassion. See sympathy.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for have pity

pity

/ˈpɪtɪ/
noun (pl) pities
1.
sympathy or sorrow felt for the sufferings of another
2.
have pity on, take pity on, to have sympathy or show mercy for
3.
something that causes regret or pity
4.
an unfortunate chance what a pity you can't come
5.
more's the pity, it is highly regrettable (that)
verb pities, pitying, pitied
6.
(transitive) to feel pity for
Derived Forms
pitying, adjective
pityingly, adverb
Word Origin
C13: from Old French pité, from Latin pietās duty
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 have pity
pity
early 13c., from O.Fr. pite, pitet (11c., Mod.Fr. pitié), from L. pietatem (nom. pietas) "piety, affection, duty," in L.L. "gentleness, kindness, pity," from pius (see pious). Replaced O.E. mildheortness, lit. "mild-heartness," itself a loan-translation of L. misericordia. English pity and piety were not fully distinguished until 17c. The verb meaning "to feel pity for" is attested from 1520s. Pitiful is c.1300 in sense of "compassionate" (implied in pitifully); mid-15c. in sense of "exciting or deserving pity;" 1580s in sense of "mean, wretched, contemptible."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with have pity
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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