An example of pity is what might be felt by someone toward a child after seeing the child's dog get hit by a car.
- sorrow felt for another's suffering or misfortune; compassion; sympathy
- the ability to feel such compassion
- a cause for sorrow or regret
Origin of pityMiddle English pite ; from Old French pitet ; from Classical Latin pietas: see piety
Origin of pity< pitythe or < MFr pitier < OFr piter
have pity on
- Sympathy and sorrow aroused by the misfortune or suffering of another.
- A matter of regret: It's a pity she can't attend the reception.
verbpit·ied, pit·y·ing, pit·ies
Origin of pityMiddle English pite, from Old French, from Latin piet&amacron;s, piety, compassion, from pius, dutiful.
(countable and uncountable, plural pities)
(third-person singular simple present pities, present participle pitying, simple past and past participle pitied)
- To feel pity for (someone or something). [from 15th c.]
- (now regional) To make (someone) feel pity; to provoke the sympathy or compassion of. [from 16th c.]
- Short form of what a pity.