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[sim-puh-thahyz] /ˈsɪm pəˌθaɪz/
verb (used without object), sympathized, sympathizing.
to be in sympathy or agreement of feeling; share in a feeling (often followed by with).
to feel a compassionate sympathy, as for suffering or trouble (often followed by with).
to express sympathy or condole (often followed by with).
to be in approving accord, as with a person or cause:
to sympathize with a person's aims.
to agree, correspond, or accord.
Also, especially British, sympathise.
Origin of sympathize
1580-90; < Middle French sympathiser, equivalent to sympath(ie) sympathy + -iser -ize
Related forms
sympathizingly, adverb
nonsympathizing, adjective
nonsympathizingly, adverb
presympathize, verb (used without object), presympathized, presympathizing.
unsympathized, adjective
unsympathizing, adjective
unsympathizingly, adverb
Can be confused
empathize, sympathize.
4. understand, approve, favor, back, support. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sympathize
  • It was a venting session with other bloggers who then proceeded to sympathize with her.
  • And one could sympathize with how difficult it might be to acknowledge that resentment.
  • Both comments are meant to sympathize with the original poster.
  • Gamers will sympathize with what the characters are trying to do.
  • Everybody must sympathize with the efforts of everybody else to raise the tone of politics, and especially of local politics.
  • In this environment, even the artists don't sympathize.
  • It's easy to sympathize with the challengers, who fear that the new product will reduce smokers' incentives to quit.
  • Those are perfectly credible reasons on which to base a decision, and committee members will understand and sympathize.
  • Most post-apocalyptic games do not seek to make you sympathize with the lost civilization.
  • She made it acceptable to weep and to think simultaneously, to sympathize but also to indict.
British Dictionary definitions for sympathize


verb (intransitive) often foll by with
to feel or express compassion or sympathy (for); commiserate: he sympathized with my troubles
to share or understand the sentiments or ideas (of); be in sympathy (with)
Derived Forms
sympathizer, sympathiser, noun
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 sympathize

"to have fellow-feeling," c.1600; see sympathy + -ize. Related: Sympathized; sympathizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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