take pity on

Idioms & Phrases

take pity on

Also, have pity on. Show compassion or mercy to, as in Take pity on the cook and eat that last piece of cake, or, as Miles Coverdale's 1535 translation of the Bible has it (Job 19:21), "Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye, my friends." This idiom may be used half-jokingly, as in the first example, or seriously. [Late 1200s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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