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Sym"pa*thy (?), n.; pl. Sympathies (#). [F. sympathie, L. sympathia, Gr. &unr_;; sy`n with + &unr_; suffering, passion, fr. &unr_;, &unr_;, 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.
They saw, but other sight instead -- a crowd Milton.
Of ugly serpents! Horror on them fell,
And horrid sympathy.
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.
3. Kindness of feeling toward one who suffers; pity; commiseration; compassion.
I value myself upon sympathy, I hate and despise myself for envy. Kames.
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. 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.”
5. A tendency of inanimate things to unite, or to act on each other; as, the sympathy between the loadstone and iron. [R.]
6. Similarity of function, use office, or the like.
The adverb has most sympathy with the verb. Earle.
Syn. -- Pity; fellow-feeling; compassion; commiseration; tenderness; condolence; agreement. -- 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.
Acknowledged and deplored, in Adam wrought