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
intransitive verbpit′ied, pit′y·ing
Origin of pity< pitythe noun 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 pietās 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.