• WordNet 3.6
    • v pity share the suffering of
    • n pity the humane quality of understanding the suffering of others and wanting to do something about it
    • n pity an unfortunate development "it's a pity he couldn't do it"
    • n pity a feeling of sympathy and sorrow for the misfortunes of others "the blind are too often objects of pity"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In Alabama it is illegal to stab yourself to gain someone's pity.
    • Pity A feeling for the sufferings or distresses of another or others; sympathy with the grief or misery of another; compassion; fellow-feeling; commiseration. "He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord.""He . . . has no more pity in him than a dog."
    • Pity A reason or cause of pity, grief, or regret; a thing to be regretted. "The more the pity .""What pity is it
      That we can die but once to serve our country!"
    • Pity Piety.
    • v. i Pity To be compassionate; to show pity. "I will not pity , nor spare, nor have mercy."
    • Pity 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. "Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him."
    • Pity To move to pity; -- used impersonally. "It pitieth them to see her in the dust."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n pity Sympathetic sorrow for the suffering with another; a feeling which inspires one to relieve the suffering of another.
    • n pity An appeal for pity.
    • n pity A cause, matter, or source, of regret or grief; a thing to be regretted: as, it is a pity you lost it; it is a thousand pities that it should be so.
    • n pity Synonyms pity, Compassion, Commiseration, Sympathy, condolence. Pity is the only one of these words that allows even a tinge of contempt; pity and Compassion come from one who is felt to be so far superior. Sympathy, on the other hand, puts the sufferer and the one sympathizing with him upon an equality by their fellow-feeling. Compassion does not keep so near its derivation; it is deep tenderness of feeling for one who is suffering. Sympathy is equal to compassion in its expression of tenderness. Commiseration is, by derivation, sharing another's misery; condolence is sharing another's grief. Commiseration may and condolence must stand for the communication to another of one's feelings of sorrow for his case. It is some comfort of receive commiseration or condolence; it gives one strength to receive sympathy from a loving heart; it is irksome to need compassion; it galls us to be pitied. Sympathy does not necessarily imply more than kinship of feeling. See also the quotations under condolence.
    • pity To excite pity in; fill with pity or compassion: used impersonally.
    • pity To feel pity or compassion for; compassionate; commiserate: as, to pity the blind or their misfortune; to pity the oppressed.
    • pity Synonyms To sympathize with, feel for. See pity, n.
    • pity To be compassionate; exercise pity.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Pity pit′i a strong feeling for or with the sufferings of others: sympathy with distress: a cause or source of pity or grief
    • v.t Pity to feel pity with: to sympathise with:—pa.t. and pa.p. pit′ied
    • ***


  • Joseph Addison
    “What pity is it That we can die, but once to serve our country.”
  • Sir Edwin Arnold
    Sir Edwin Arnold
    “Pity makes the world soft to the weak and noble to the strong.”
  • Jane Austen
    “Nobody can tell what I suffer! But it is always so. Those who do not complain are never pitied.”
  • Josh Billings
    “Pity cost nothing and ain't worth nothing.”
  • Albert Camus
    “God put self-pity by the side of despair like the cure by the side of the disease.”
  • Maximilien Robespierre
    Maximilien Robespierre
    “Pity is treason.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. pite, OF. pité, pitié, F. pitié, L. pietas, piety, kindness, pity. See Pious, and cf. Piety


In literature:

Few will pity the old monarch in his flight, yet I own he seems to me an object of pity.
"Charlotte Bronte and Her Circle" by Clement K. Shorter
The pitiful glimmer of a lantern swung from his mitted hand.
"The Triumph of John Kars" by Ridgwell Cullum
But at night she lay awake for long, pitiful hours watching the stars and fighting the battle alone with despair.
"The Southerner" by Thomas Dixon
The child's dependence upon its father fell, torn and quivering, before the new-risen self-protection of the pitiful girlhood.
"Joyce of the North Woods" by Harriet T. Comstock
It is a pity, a great pity, but, alas!
"The Eternal City" by Hall Caine
I over-heard Dr. Harlowe say to Mrs. Linwood, that it was a pity I were not at school, I was so very young.
"Ernest Linwood" by Caroline Lee Hentz
Hast thou no pity on him?
"A Little Girl in Old Detroit" by Amanda Minnie Douglas
It would be a pity to keep her up after that hour.
"A Dog with a Bad Name" by Talbot Baines Reed
Pity engulfed her, a passion of pity for the poor woman who a second time had fallen under the spell of an unscrupulous man.
"The Independence of Claire" by Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
No; he had not even seen my pitiful presence.
"Vesty of the Basins" by Sarah P. McLean Greene

In poetry:

I pitiful arose,
And soon a taper lighted;
And did myself disclose
Unto the lad benighted.
"The Cheat Of Cupid; Or, The Ungentle Guest" by Robert Herrick
For pity, not for love
(Because you loved me so)
With undesirous lips
I kissed you long ago.
"Change" by Clark Ashton Smith
Hide me from the pity
Of the Angels' Band,
Who ever sing Thy praises,
And before Thee stand.
"Homo Factus Est" by Digby Mackworth Dolben
How long the holy city
Shall heathen feet profane?
Return, O Lord, in pity;
Rebuild her walls again.
"O That the Lord's Salvation" by Henry Francis Lyte
I heard the little maiden
Her simple feelings tell,
And on the narrow tombstone
The tears of pity fell.
"The Mother's Grave" by Peter John Allan
I kneel because I know
The fields will break to corn because of the love
And pity God has for us.
"The Miracle Of The Corn" by Padraic Colum

In news:

I've already addressed that while granting someone a pity date may seem like the polite thing to do, it's a cowardly act.
Pity the poor voter in a swing state in the final weeks of this campaign.
Now, the Jets are getting pity.
Pity the elderly gray translator.
Pity the poor enthusiast of the 1920s, without a single YouTube video to guide him.
My Sweet Lord / Isn't It A Pity.
Pundits said the iPad Mini is too expensive, it's too small, the screen resolution is pitiful.
I was healed from my embarrassing detour into self-pity.
TV helicopter news coverage pioneer dies in Calif. On three hit AMC series, pity the poor wives.
He says in an email that he is taking pity on you — his intended target.
Isn't it a Pity : Two Films By Claude Sautet.
Thomas Frank Discusses His Latest Book Pity The Billionaire.
His most recent book is Pity the Billionaire.
It turns out utility companies aren't that interested in rescuing frightened cats on poles , no matter how pitiful.
It seems someone in the White House did take pity — and threw the press a bone.

In science:

Pitifully, the Belief Propagation dynamics is known not to converge for the random version of many combinatorial problems (including again 3-sat and q -col) in the region of the parameters near the SAT/UNSAT threshold.
Constraint Satisfaction by Survey Propagation
It is somewhat a pity that there is no good introductory book to the field.
Large deviations and stochastic calculus for large random matrices
As one of the authors remarked “it seems a pity to lose SL2(R)”.
Groups, measures, and the NIP
It is a pity that we failed to find a nice case study in NBA, or FIF A, that illustrates the importance of a benchwarmer in so extreme case that we discussed.
Complementary cooperation, minimal winning coalitions, and power indices
This is a pity, as I think this approach is more satisfying.
Recent progress in coalescent theory