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sympathetic

[sim-puh-thet-ik] /ˌsɪm pəˈθɛt ɪk/
adjective
1.
characterized by, proceeding from, exhibiting, or feeling sympathy; sympathizing; compassionate:
a sympathetic listener.
2.
acting or affected by, of the nature of, or pertaining to a special affinity or mutual relationship; congenial:
With their many similar tastes, he found her a most sympathetic companion.
3.
looking upon with favor (often followed by to or toward):
She is sympathetic to the project.
4.
Anatomy, Physiology.
  1. pertaining to that part of the autonomic nervous system consisting of nerves that arise from the thoracic and lumbar regions of the spinal cord, and functioning in opposition to the parasympathetic system, as in stimulating heartbeat, dilating the pupil of the eye, etc.
  2. Obsolete. pertaining to the autonomic nervous system in its entirety.
5.
Physics. noting or pertaining to vibrations, sounds, etc., produced by a body as the direct result of similar vibrations in a different body.
Origin
1635-1645
1635-45; < New Latin sympathēticus < Greek sympathētikós. See sym-, pathetic
Related forms
sympathetically, adverb
nonsympathetic, adjective
nonsympathetically, adverb
quasi-sympathetic, adjective
quasi-sympathetically, adverb
supersympathetic, adjective
unsympathetic, adjective
unsympathetically, adverb
Can be confused
empathetic, sympathetic, simpatico.
Synonyms
1. commiserating, kind, tender, affectionate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for sympathetic
  • In all regions, commentators friendly to corporate power walloped her for harboring sympathetic views on labor unions.
  • It instantly brought him into a more sympathetic mood.
  • Many of the local police officers even seem sympathetic to his mission and let him through.
  • Advertise these measures in a way that attracts the large, environmentally sympathetic tourist market.
  • She screamed in mortal agony, but she knew that her screams did not fall on sympathetic ears.
  • The former fact has been used extensively in the study of how certain drugs affect the sympathetic nervous system.
  • When people feel stressed, their sympathetic nervous system typically revs up, releasing energy and preparing the body for action.
  • Grieving elephants, sympathetic bonobos, grateful whales-nature is not always red in tooth and claw.
  • Too sympathetic people deserve probably be regarded with suspicion.
  • Yes, it could be that people are sympathetic to anonymous bloggers.
British Dictionary definitions for sympathetic

sympathetic

/ˌsɪmpəˈθɛtɪk/
adjective
1.
characterized by, feeling, or showing sympathy; understanding
2.
in accord with the subject's personality or mood; congenial: a sympathetic atmosphere
3.
when postpositive, often foll by to or towards. showing agreement (with) or favour (towards): sympathetic to the proposals
4.
(anatomy, physiol) of or relating to the division of the autonomic nervous system that acts in opposition to the parasympathetic system accelerating the heartbeat, dilating the bronchi, inhibiting the smooth muscles of the digestive tract, etc Compare parasympathetic
5.
relating to vibrations occurring as a result of similar vibrations in a neighbouring body: sympathetic strings on a sitar
Derived Forms
sympathetically, adverb
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 sympathetic
adj.

1640s, "pertaining to sympathy," from Modern Latin sympatheticus, from Greek sympathetikos, from sympathein, from sympathes "having a fellow feeling, affected by like feelings" (see sympathy). Meaning "having fellow feeling" is recorded from 1718. In anatomical sense, the word is attested from 1769, from Modern Latin (nervus) sympathicus, coined by Jacques-Benigne Winslow (1669-1760), Danish anatomist living in Paris. Related: Sympathetically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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sympathetic in Medicine

sympathetic sym·pa·thet·ic (sĭm'pə-thět'ĭk)
adj.
Of, relating to, or acting on the sympathetic nervous system.

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