- Empathy is defined as the ability to understand the thoughts feelings or emotions of someone else.
An example of empathy is feeling the same amount of excitment as a friend, when they tell you they're getting married.
Empathy is sharing the joy at a friends wedding.
- the projection of one's own personality into the personality of another in order to understand the person better; ability to share in another's emotions, thoughts, or feelings
- the projection of one's own personality into an object, with the attribution to the object of one's own emotions, responses, etc.
Origin of empathy; from Classical Greek empatheia, affection, passion ; from en-, in + pathos, feeling: used to translated, translation German einfühlung (; from ein-, in + fühlung, feeling)
- The ability to identify with or understand another's situation or feelings: Empathy is a distinctly human capability. See Synonyms at pity.
- The attribution of one's own feelings to an object: They have empathy for the evacuees who were displaced by the flood.
Origin of empathyen–2 + –pathy (translation of German Einf&udie;hlung).
(countable and uncountable, plural empathies)
- the intellectual identification of the thoughts, feelings, or state of another person
- capacity to understand another person's point of view or the result of such understanding
- She had a lot of empathy for her neighbor; she knew what it was like to lose a parent too.
- (parapsychology, science fiction) a paranormal ability to psychically read another person's emotions
Used similarly to sympathy, interchangeably in looser usage. In stricter usage, empathy is stronger and more intimate, meaning that the subject understands and shares an emotion with the object – as in “I feel your pain” – while sympathy is weaker and more distant – concern, but not shared emotion: “I care for you”.
A twentieth-century borrowing of Ancient Greek ἐμπάθεια (empatheia, literally “passion”) (formed from ἐν (en-, “in, at”) + πάθος (pathos, “feeling”)), coined by Edward Bradford Titchener to translate German Einfühlung. The modern Greek word εμπάθεια (empátheia) has an opposite meaning denoting strong negative feelings and prejudice against someone.