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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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Examples from the web for pity
  • Reading these reports leaves one feeling an odd combination of anger and pity.
  • If its as easy as it looks, I pity people who get caught in the air.
  • It started, as many great love stories do, with pity.
  • Beauty plus pity is the closest we can get to a definition of art.
  • Spoiled rich kids making fools of themselves are just a fact of life — to envy, pity or ridicule as one wishes.
  • It is a great pity that politics in democracies are driven by personalities, rather than policies.
  • The shuttle is great machine, it's a pity they just couldn't operate it cheaper.
  • You'll certainly get no pity from me.
  • They are neither bitter nor steeped in self-pity.
  • As it stands, I just shake my head in condescending pity.
British Dictionary definitions for 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 pity
n.

early 13c., from Old French pite, pitet "pity, mercy, compassion, care, tenderness; pitiful state, wretched condition" (11c., Modern French pitié), from Latin pietatem (nominative pietas) "piety, loyalty, duty" (see piety). Replaced Old English mildheortness, literally "mild-heartness," itself a loan-translation of Latin misericordia. English pity and piety were not fully distinguished until 17c. Transferred sense of "grounds or cause for pity" is from late 14c.

v.

"to feel pity for," late 15c., from Old French pitier and from pity (n.). Related: Pitied; pitying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with pity
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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