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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 sympathetically
  • And he sympathetically captures the soul of each situation.
  • More sympathetically, there's often a belief that you can do great good for a majority, if you throw a minority under the bus.
  • He nodded sympathetically, clearly waiting for me to reciprocate.
  • We may nod sympathetically while telling ourselves that nothing needs to change.
  • Find a partner who can be open with you and who listens to you sympathetically, and take it from there.
  • The individual scientists are portrayed accurately as well as sympathetically and colorfully.
  • The series portrays her more sympathetically, as out of touch but nonetheless a patriot.
  • They can suffer from simplistic premises and too many corny jokes, but his characters are always richly, sympathetically drawn.
  • To be filmed indoors sympathetically, a face needs to be lit by more than one light.
  • The recurring theme was isolation: the film urged soldiers to talk to one another openly and 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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