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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 of sympathetic
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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sympathetically
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "I'm awfully sorry I can't tell you where Mrs. Dale lives," the woman said, sympathetically.

    The Vehement Flame Margaret Wade Campbell Deland
  • "I wonder that you take her to drive with you," suggested Philip, sympathetically.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  • "Oh, it's a wonder you were not killed," said the girl, sympathetically.

    Pretty Geraldine, the New York Salesgirl Mrs. Alex. McVeigh Miller
  • "I think that's a good mare of yours, Mr. Porter," said Crane, sympathetically.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • Once more he shook hands with Vincent, sympathetically, and with a grasp full of meaning.

    Salem Chapel, v. 2/2 Mrs. Oliphant
  • Polly squeezed it sympathetically, and told him how sorry she was for his accident.

  • Red Fox shifted uneasily, frightened at the audacity of the thing, but sympathetically interested all the same.

    Red Fox Charles G. D. Roberts
  • "I don't wonder that your father is worried," said Dave, sympathetically.

    Dave Porter At Bear Camp Edward Stratemeyer
  • "I can appreciate that," said the Tin Woodman, sympathetically.

British Dictionary definitions for sympathetically

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 sympathetically

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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sympathetically 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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