Meaning of “pity” in the English Dictionary

"pity" in British English

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uk /ˈpɪt.i/ us /ˈpɪt̬.i/

B2 [ U ] a feeling of sadness or sympathy for someone else's unhappiness or difficult situation:

The girl stood gazing in/with pity at the old lion in the cage.
She agreed to go out with him more out of pity than anything.
These people don't want pity, they want practical help.
See also

A2 [ S ] mainly UK If something is described as a pity, it is disappointing or not satisfactory:

"Can't you go to the party? Oh, that's (such) a pity."
[ + (that) ] It's a pity (that) children spend so little time outside nowadays.
[ + (that) ] Pity (that) you didn't remember to give me the message.
What a pity you're ill!
"I called the restaurant, but they're closed tonight." "Pity."
We'll have to leave early, more's the pity (= and I am unhappy about it).
The pity was that so few people bothered to come.
take pity (on sb)

to feel sorry for someone, and to do something that shows this:

We took pity on a couple of people waiting in the rain for a bus and gave them a lift.
I struggled up the steps with my bags until eventually someone took pity and helped me.

More examples

pityverb [ T ]

uk /ˈpɪt.i/ us /ˈpɪt̬.i/

(Definition of “pity” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"pity" in American English

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pitynoun [ U ]

us /ˈpɪt̬·i/

sympathy and understanding for someone else’s suffering or troubles:

She did not want his pity.

If something is described as a pity, it is a cause for regret:

It’s a pity you can’t come to the party.
verb [ T ] us /ˈpɪt̬·i/

I pity people who have to work with statistics.

(Definition of “pity” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)