Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “sympathetic”

sympathetic

adjective uk   /ˌsɪm.pəˈθet.ɪk/ us    /-ˈθet̬-/

sympathetic adjective (UNDERSTANDING)

B2 describes someone who shows, especially by what they say, that they understand and care about someone else's suffering: He suffers from back trouble too, so he was very sympathetic about my problem. She just needed someone who would lend a sympathetic ear to her (= listen to her in a kind and understanding way) once in a while.
Opposite
If a character in a book or film is sympathetic, they are described or shown in such a way that you are able to understand the character's feelings, with the result that you like them: She comes across as a more sympathetic character in the film.

sympathetic adjective (SUPPORT)

C2 agreeing with or supporting: The Labour party are supposed to be sympathetic to/towards the unions. Did he give your proposal/complaints a sympathetic hearing?
sympathetically
adverb uk   /-ɪ.kəl.i/ us  
She listened sympathetically, nodding her head now and again.
(Definition of sympathetic from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of sympathetic?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Backing, supporting & defending, but you might be interested in these topics from the Expressing agreement & support topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “sympathetic” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

bright spark

a person who is intelligent, and full of energy and enthusiasm

Word of the Day

Highly delighted, bitterly disappointed, ridiculously cheap: adverbs for emphasis.

by Liz Walter,
October 22, 2014
We often make adjectives stronger by putting an adverb in front of them. The most common ones are very and, for a stronger meaning, extremely: He was very pleased. The ship is extremely large. However, we don’t use very or extremely for adjectives that already have a strong meaning, for example fantastic,

Read More 

life tracking noun

October 20, 2014
the use of one or more devices or apps to monitor health, exercise, how time is spent, etc.

Read More