pity

pity
I UK [ˈpɪtɪ] / US noun [uncountable] **
1) a strong feeling of sympathy that you have for someone because they are very unhappy or in a bad situation

She looked at him with a mixture of pity and disgust.

There was pity in her voice.

feel pity for someone:

She felt pity for all the children living in such terrible conditions.

an object of pity (= someone who people feel only sympathy for):

In the past poor people were seen as objects of pity.

2) formal an attitude in which you are sympathetic towards someone and forgive them
show (no) pity:

The judge showed no pity in her treatment of the youngsters.

(it's a) pity — used for saying that you are disappointed about something

it's a pity (that):

It's a pity we couldn't stay longer in Boston.

it's a pity to do something:

It's a pity to waste this food. Can you eat it?

(it's a) pity about:

It was a lovely wedding. Pity about the rain.

it seems a pity:

It seems such a pity to be indoors in lovely weather like this.

a great pity:

It was a great pity we couldn't visit the Louvre.

what a pity (= that is a pity):

"I couldn't get any tickets for the game." "Oh, what a pity!"


II UK [ˈpɪtɪ] / US verb [transitive, not usually progressive]
Word forms "pity":
present tense I/you/we/they pity he/she/it pities present participle pitying past tense pitied past participle pitied
to feel sorry for someone because they are in a bad situation

I pity the poor person who has to clean this mess up.

She pitied him living in such a horrible place.


English dictionary. 2014.

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  • Pity — implies tender or sometimes slightly contemptuous sorrow for one in misery or distress. By the nineteenth century, two different kinds of pity had come to be distinguished, which we might call benevolent pity and contemptuous pity (see Kimball).… …   Wikipedia

  • pity — [pit′ē] n. pl. pities [ME pite < OFr pitet < L pietas: see PIETY] 1. sorrow felt for another s suffering or misfortune; compassion; sympathy 2. the ability to feel such compassion 3. a cause for sorrow or regret vt., vi. pitied, pitying [ …   English World dictionary

  • Pity — Pit y, n.; pl. {Pities}. [OE. pite, OF. pit[ e], piti[ e], F. piti[ e], L. pietas piety, kindness, pity. See {Pious}, and cf. {Piety}.] 1. Piety. [Obs.] Wyclif. [1913 Webster] 2. A feeling for the sufferings or distresses of another or others;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pity — ► NOUN (pl. pities) 1) a feeling of sorrow and compassion caused by the sufferings of others. 2) a cause for regret or disappointment. ► VERB (pities, pitied) ▪ feel pity for. ● for pity s sake …   English terms dictionary

  • pity — (n.) early 13c., from O.Fr. pite, pitet (11c., Mod.Fr. pitié), from L. pietatem (nom. pietas) piety, affection, duty, in L.L. gentleness, kindness, pity, from pius (see PIOUS (Cf. pious)). Replaced O.E. mildheortness, lit. mild heartness, itself… …   Etymology dictionary

  • pity — [n1] feeling of mercy toward another benevolence, charity, clemency, comfort, commiseration, compassion, compunction, condolement, condolence, dejection, distress, empathy, favor, forbearance, goodness, grace, humanity, kindliness, kindness,… …   New thesaurus

  • Pity — Pit y, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Pitied}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Pitying}.] 1. To feel pity or compassion for; to have sympathy with; to compassionate; to commiserate; to have tender feelings toward (any one), awakened by a knowledge of suffering. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Pity — Pit y, v. i. To be compassionate; to show pity. [1913 Webster] I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy. Jer. xiii. 14. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pity — pity·ing; pity; pity·ing·ly; …   English syllables

  • pity — The type Pity we can t get this to work is an acceptable conversational shortening of It is a pity that… …   Modern English usage

  • Pity — (Pitje), holländische Benennung der japanischen u. chinesischen Scheidemünze, deren man sonst auf Java 50 auf den Stüber rechnete …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

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