Empathy and Sympathy

Empathy

Empathy is the capacity to recognize feelings that are being experienced by another sentient or semi-sentient (in fiction writing) being.

empathy n : understanding and entering into another's feelings

105 Moby Thesaurus words for "empathy": accent, accentuation, accord, accordance, affinity, agape, agreement, allergy, amity, anaphylaxis, appreciation, attention, bonds of harmony, brotherly love, caring, caritas, cement of friendship, charity, chord, communion, community, community of interests, compassion, compatibility, comprehension, concern, concord, concordance, congeniality, considerateness, correspondence, delicacy, echo, emphasis, esprit, esprit de corps, exquisiteness, feeling of identity, fellow feeling, fellowship, fineness, force, frictionlessness, good vibes, good vibrations, happy family, harmony, hyperesthesia, hyperpathia, hypersensitivity, identification, identity, insistence, involvement, irritability, kinship, like-mindedness, love, mutuality, nervousness, oneness, oversensibility, oversensitiveness, overtenderness, passibility, pathos, peace, perceptiveness, perceptivity, photophobia, prickliness, rapport, rapprochement, reciprocity, relating, response, responsiveness, sensitiveness, sensitivity, sensitization, sharing, solidarity, soreness, stress, supersensitivity, sympathetic chord, sympathetic response, sympathy, symphony, tact, tactfulness, team spirit, tenderness, tetchiness, thin skin, ticklishness, touchiness, understanding, union, unison, unity, vibes, vibrations, warmth, weight

Sympathy

Sympathy is an extension of empathic concern, or the perception, understanding, and reaction to the distress or need of another human being.

sympathy n 1: an inclination to support or be loyal to or to agree with an opinion; "his sympathies were always with the underdog"; "I knew I could count on his understanding" [syn: {understanding}] 2: sharing the feelings of others (especially feelings of sorrow or anguish) [syn: {fellow feeling}] 3: a relation of affinity or harmony between people; whatever affects one correspondingly affects the other; "the two of them were in close sympathy"

272 Moby Thesaurus words for "sympathy": abetment, accord, accordance, addition, adduction, adjunct, advocacy, aegis, affairs, affectionateness, affections, affective faculty, affectivity, affiliation, affinity, agape, agreement, aid and comfort, allergy, alliance, allurement, amity, an in, anaphylaxis, approximation, assemblage, association, assurance, attractance, attraction, attractiveness, attractivity, auspices, backing, balm, benevolence, benignancy, benignity, bent, bias, blending, bond, bonds of harmony, brotherhood, brotherly love, camaraderie, capillarity, capillary attraction, care, caring, caritas, cement of friendship, centripetal force, championship, charity, chiming, chord, clemency, closeness, combination, comfort, commiseration, communion, community, community of interests, compassion, compatibility, concern, concord, concordance, condolement, condolence, congeniality, connectedness, connection, considerateness, consolation, consonant, contiguity, contrariety, correspondence, countenance, dealings, deduction, delicacy, disjunction, drag, draw, easement, echo, emotional life, emotions, empathy, encouragement, esprit, esprit de corps, exquisiteness, fancy, fascination, favor, favorable regard, feeling, feeling of identity, feeling of kinship, feeling tone, feelings, fellow feeling, fellowship, filiation, fineness, finer feelings, forbearance, forgiveness, fosterage, fraternal feeling, frictionlessness, friendly relations, good graces, good terms, good understanding, good vibes, good vibrations, goodness, goodness of heart, goodwill, grace, graciousness, gravitation, gravity, guidance, happy family, harmonic, harmony, heart, heart of gold, homology, humaneness, humanity, hyperesthesia, hyperpathia, hypersensitivity, identification, identity, inclination, intercourse, interest, intimacy, involvement, irritability, junction, kindheartedness, kindliness, kindly disposition, kindness, kinship, leaning, leniency, liaison, like-mindedness, link, linkage, linking, love, loving kindness, magnetism, mercy, mitigation, musical, mutual affinity, mutual attraction, mutual regard, mutuality, nearness, nervousness, niceness, oneness, oversensibility, oversensitiveness, overtenderness, pardon, partiality, passibility, passions, pathos, patronage, peace, penchant, perceptiveness, perceptivity, photophobia, pity, predilection, preference, prickliness, proclivity, propensity, propinquity, proximity, pull, pulling power, quarter, rapport, rapprochement, reassurance, reciprocity, regard, relatedness, relating, relation, relations, relationship, relief, reprieve, respect, response, responsiveness, rue, ruth, seconding, self-pity, sensibilities, sensitiveness, sensitivity, sensitization, sentiments, sharing, sharing of grief, shred of comfort, similarity, softheartedness, solace, solacement, solicitousness, solidarity, soothing words, soreness, soul of kindness, sponsorship, supersensitivity, support, susceptibilities, sympathetic chord, sympathetic response, sympathies, symphonic, symphonious, symphony, tact, tactfulness, team spirit, tender susceptibilities, tenderheartedness, tenderness, tetchiness, thin skin, ticklishness, tie, tie-in, touchiness, traction, tug, turn, tutelage, understanding, union, unison, unity, vibes, vibrations, warmheartedness, warmth, warmth of heart

Sympathy \Sym"pa*thy\, n.; pl. {Sympathies}. [F. sympathie, L. sympathia, Gr. ?; sy`n with + ? suffering, passion, fr. ?, ?, to suffer. See {Syn-}, and {Pathos}.] 1. Feeling corresponding to that which another feels; the quality of being affected by the affection of another, with feelings correspondent in kind, if not in degree; fellow-feeling. [1913 Webster] They saw, but other sight instead -- a crowd Of ugly serpents! Horror on them fell, And horrid sympathy. --Milton. [1913 Webster] 2. An agreement of affections or inclinations, or a conformity of natural temperament, which causes persons to be pleased, or in accord, with one another; as, there is perfect sympathy between them. [1913 Webster] 3. Kindness of feeling toward one who suffers; pity; commiseration; compassion. [1913 Webster] I value myself upon sympathy, I hate and despise myself for envy. --Kames. [1913 Webster] 4. (Physiol. & Med.) (a) The reciprocal influence exercised by organs or parts on one another, as shown in the effects of a diseased condition of one part on another part or organ, as in the vomiting produced by a tumor of the brain. (b) The influence of a certain psychological state in one person in producing a like state in another. Note: In the original 1890 work, sense (b) was described as: ``That relation which exists between different persons by which one of them produces in the others a state or condition like that of himself. This is shown in the tendency to yawn which a person often feels on seeing another yawn, or the strong inclination to become hysteric experienced by many women on seeing another person suffering with hysteria.'' [Webster 1913 Suppl. +PJC] 5. A tendency of inanimate things to unite, or to act on each other; as, the sympathy between the loadstone and iron. [R.] [1913 Webster] 6. Similarity of function, use office, or the like. [1913 Webster] The adverb has most sympathy with the verb. --Earle. [1913 Webster] Syn: Pity; fellow-feeling; compassion; commiseration; tenderness; condolence; agreement. Usage: {Sympathy}, {Commiseration}. Sympathy is literally a fellow-feeling with others in their varied conditions of joy or of grief. This term, however, is now more commonly applied to a fellow-feeling with others under affliction, and then coincides very nearly with commiseration. In this case it is commonly followed by for; as, to feel sympathy for a friend when we see him distressed. The verb sympathize is followed by with; as, to sympathize with a friend in his distresses or enjoyments. ``Every man would be a distinct species to himself, were there no sympathy among individuals.'' --South. See {Pity}. [1913 Webster] Fault, Acknowledged and deplored, in Adam wrought Commiseration. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

Data Sources:

  • empathy: WordNet (r) 2.0
  • empathy: Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0
  • sympathy: WordNet (r) 2.0
  • sympathy: Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0
  • sympathy: The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44

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