• WordNet 3.6
    • adj sympathetic relating to vibrations that occur as a result of vibrations in a nearby body "sympathetic vibration"
    • adj sympathetic showing or motivated by sympathy and understanding and generosity "was charitable in his opinions of others","kindly criticism","a kindly act","sympathetic words","a large-hearted mentor"
    • adj sympathetic having similar disposition and tastes "with their many similar tastes, he found her a most sympathetic companion"
    • adj sympathetic expressing or feeling or resulting from sympathy or compassion or friendly fellow feelings; disposed toward "sympathetic to the students' cause","a sympathetic observer","a sympathetic gesture"
    • adj sympathetic (of characters in literature or drama) evoking empathic or sympathetic feelings "the sympathetic characters in the play"
    • adj sympathetic of or relating to the sympathetic nervous system "sympathetic neurons","sympathetic stimulation"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Sympathetic Inclined to sympathy; sympathizing. "Far wiser he, whose sympathetic mind
      Exults in all the good of all mankind."
    • Sympathetic (Physiol) Of or relating to the sympathetic nervous system or some of its branches; produced by stimulation on the sympathetic nervious system or some part of it; as, the sympathetic saliva, a modified form of saliva, produced from some of the salivary glands by stimulation of a sympathetic nerve fiber.
    • Sympathetic (Physiol) Produced by sympathy; -- applied particularly to symptoms or affections. See Sympathy.
    • Sympathetic Produced by, or expressive of, sympathy. "Ope the sacred source of sympathetic tears."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • sympathetic Pertaining to, expressive of, proceeding from, or exhibiting sympathy, in any sense; attended with sympathy.
    • sympathetic Having sympathy or common feeling with another; susceptible of being affected by feelings like those of another, or of altruistic feelings which arise as a consequence of what another feels.
    • sympathetic Harmonious; concordant; congenial.
    • sympathetic In anatomy and zoology, effecting a sympathy or consentaneous affection of the viscera and blood-vessels; uniting viscera and blood-vessels in a nervous action common to them all; inhibitory of or controlling the vital activities of viscera and blood-vessels, which are thereby subjected to a common nervous influence; specifically, of or pertaining to a special set of nerves or nervous system called the sympathetic. See below.
    • sympathetic In acoustics, noting sounds induced not by a direct vibration-producing force, but by vibrations conveyed through the air or other medium from a body already in vibration. The phenomena of resonance are properly examples of sympathetic sound.
    • sympathetic of four pairs of cranial ganglia;
    • sympathetic of three great gangliated plexuses or sympathetic plexuses, in the thoracic, abdominal, and pelvic cavities respectively;
    • sympathetic of smaller ganglia in connection with the abdominal and other viscera;
    • sympathetic of communicating nerves or commissures, whereby these ganglia or plexuses are connected with one another and with nerves of the cerebrospinal system;
    • sympathetic of distributory nerves supplying the viscera and vessels, whereby the sympathetic reaches all parts of the body. See ganglion and plexus.
    • sympathetic In invertebrates, as Vermes, a posterior part of the visceral nervous system, passing on to the enteric tube, and corresponding to a true enteric nervous system: so called in view of its physiological relations, without reference to the actual homology implied with the sympathetic system of a vertebrate.
    • n sympathetic The sympathetic nervous system, or the sympathetic nerve.
    • n sympathetic One who is peculiarly susceptible, as to hypnotic or mesmeric influences; a sensitive.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adjs Sympathetic showing, or inclined to, sympathy: feeling with another: able to sympathise: compassionate: produced by sympathy: uniting viscera and blood-vessels in a nervous action common to them all: noting sounds induced by vibrations conveyed through air, &c., from a body already in vibration
    • ***


  • Jean Cocteau
    “A car can massage organs which no masseur can reach. It is the one remedy for the disorders of the great sympathetic nervous system.”
  • Homer
    “A sympathetic friend can be quite as dear as a brother.”
  • Isadora Duncan
    “Perhaps he was a bit different from other people, but what really sympathetic person is not a little mad?”
  • George Eliot
    “Sympathetic people often don't communicate well, they back reflected images which hide their own depths.”
  • Pablo Picasso
    “Is there anything more dangerous than sympathetic understanding?”
  • Gerhard Kocher
    “The call for free markets would be more successful if it came from more sympathetic people.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
See Sympathy, and cf. Pathetic
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. sympatheiasyn, with, pathos, suffering.


In literature:

A part of the fitness of this creature to cast in its lot with man arises from the fact that they have very sympathetic natures.
"Domesticated Animals" by Nathaniel Southgate Shaler
He had a benevolent face, large, sympathetic eyes, and a patriarchal beard.
"In The Boyhood of Lincoln" by Hezekiah Butterworth
When Tom met Anne's sympathetic eyes, he confessed.
"Polly's Business Venture" by Lillian Elizabeth Roy
She knew whom she herself did not consider sympathetic, and jumped to a conclusion.
"The Prodigal Father" by J. Storer Clouston
Dick and he dined at the best hotel and Lance listened sympathetically to the description of the bridge.
"Brandon of the Engineers" by Harold Bindloss
Mary began to feel a sympathetic thrill.
"Simon" by J. Storer Clouston
Other girls who had tried it quickly gave up their sympathetic attentions.
"Ruth Fielding At College" by Alice B. Emerson
What I began to feel, with a certain creeping chill, was that they were only too sympathetic with England.
"What I Saw in America" by G. K. Chesterton
For the sympathetic observer every kind of bird has its own temperament.
"The Foot-path Way" by Bradford Torrey
Her sympathetic rendering of the great masters of music had renewed a pleasure linked with memories sacred beyond all others.
"Captain Desmond, V.C." by Maud Diver

In poetry:

I think some spiteful fairy
My natal day did grace
And leave me for a dowry
A sympathetic face.
"The Misanthrope" by Cicely Fox Smith
And ever be the tribute paid!
The warm heart's sympathetic flow:
Richer by far, ill-fated maid!
Than all the shadowy pomp of woe.
"Bertram And Anna" by Thomas Gent
Should then the weary eye of grief,
Beside some sympathetic stream,
In slumber find a short relief,
Visit thou my soothing dream!
"To Her I Love" by James Thomson
If on my pure tomb they should grave
My vices,—how the folks would grin!
And say with sympathetic wave:
"Like us he was a man of sin."
"Humility" by Robert W Service
Hard is the fate of him who loves,
Yet dares not tell his trembling pain,
But to the sympathetic groves,
But to the lonely listening plain.
"The Lover's Fate" by James Thomson
DEATH met a little child who cried
For a bright star which earth denied,
And Death, so sympathetic, kissed it,
Saying: "With me
All bright things be!"--
And only the child's mother missed it.
"Laureate" by Isabel Ecclestone Mackay

In news:

So to celebrate they release a never before seen video for their song " Sympathetic ".
A New Book on DSK Is Sympathetic and Supportive of His Accuser.
'Person' sympathetic to LGBT society.
Walton appears sympathetic to prosecution.
Bart Ehrman's new portrayal of Jesus is surprisingly sympathetic .
You Just Made Rush Limbaugh Sympathetic .
A Sympathetic Portrayal of Sarah Palin in HBO's "Game Change".
1 in 3 think Muslim Americans more sympathetic to terrorists than other Americans.
Pledges ' Sympathetic ' Attitude in Granting Visas to Foreign Academics.
People sympathetic but want security.
Two-thirds of Americans want the government to do a better job of securing the borders, but they are sympathetic to illegal immigrants who have been working hard and staying out of trouble, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds.
Where fellas can find a sympathetic pedicure.
A New Life for Showtime's Sympathetic Serial Killer.
A Sympathetic Ear for US Manufacturers.
It's hard to imagine a less sympathetic victim of the Great Recession than Jackie Siegel, a ditsy ex-model who was halfway through overseeing the construction of the largest single-family home in the.

In science:

This gives us a picture of the efficiency of sympathetic cooling since this process breaks down when the ratio Cb /Cf becomes of the order of unity.
Ultracold atomic Fermi-Bose mixtures in bichromatic optical dipole traps: a novel route to study fermion superfluidity
In a conservative scenario we can assume that sympathetic cooling stops when Cb ≃ Cf .
Ultracold atomic Fermi-Bose mixtures in bichromatic optical dipole traps: a novel route to study fermion superfluidity
Recently, sympathetic cooling of 7Li through 133Cs has been demonstrated in a far-off resonance optical trap . A CO2 laser was used to create the optical potential obtaining, due to the static atomic polarizabilities, a larger energy depth for 133Cs.
Ultracold atomic Fermi-Bose mixtures in bichromatic optical dipole traps: a novel route to study fermion superfluidity
As a consequence the 7Li went under simultaneous sympathetic and evaporative cooling.
Ultracold atomic Fermi-Bose mixtures in bichromatic optical dipole traps: a novel route to study fermion superfluidity
A novel path to reach deep Fermi degeneracy through sympathetic cooling with a Bose gas undergoing evaporative cooling in an optical dipole trap has been proposed.
Ultracold atomic Fermi-Bose mixtures in bichromatic optical dipole traps: a novel route to study fermion superfluidity