Meaning of “sympathy” in the English Dictionary

"sympathy" in British English

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sympathynoun

uk /ˈsɪm.pə.θi/ us /ˈsɪm.pə.θi/

sympathy noun (UNDERSTANDING)

B2 [ U ] (an expression of) understanding and care for someone else's suffering:

The president has sent a message of sympathy to the relatives of the dead soldiers.
I don't have much sympathy for her - I think she's brought her troubles on herself.
Compare
offer/send your sympathies formal

to express your sadness to someone because a relation or friend of theirs has recently died:

I went along to the funeral in order to offer my sympathies.

More examples

  • She said that she was deeply moved by all the letters of sympathy she had received.
  • I have absolutely no sympathy for people who get into debt by overspending.
  • George was a wonderful man - you have my greatest sympathy.
  • It's your own fault Colin, you'll get no sympathy from me!
  • I feel a lot of sympathy for him, it can't be easy bringing up three children on your own.

sympathy noun (SUPPORT)

C2 [ U ] support and agreement:

I must confess I have some sympathy with his views.
sympathies [ plural ]

support:

Of those people questioned, 93 percent said their sympathies were with the teachers.
He is known to have right-wing sympathies.
come out in sympathy with sb UK

to stop working in order to show your support for other workers who are on strike:

The railway workers came out in sympathy with the miners.

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

"sympathy" in American English

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sympathynoun [ U ]

us /ˈsɪm·pə·θi/

sympathy noun [ U ] (UNDERSTANDING)

a feeling or expression of understanding and caring for someone else who is suffering or has problems that have caused unhappiness:

When Robert died, I sent a letter of sympathy to his wife.

sympathy noun [ U ] (SUPPORT)

a feeling or expression of support and agreement:

She tends to be in sympathy with the left wing of the party.
[ pl ] On the subject of wilderness, her sympathies were clearly pro-environmental.

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

"sympathy" in Business English

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sympathynoun [ C or U ]

uk /ˈsɪmpəθi/ us

the act of showing understanding for someone or for a particular situation:

sympathy for sb The prime minister expressed his sympathy for those injured in the attacks.
have great/little/no sympathy for sth Locals have little sympathy for the chemical company following the toxic waste disaster.
come/walk out in sympathy

HR, WORKPLACE to stop working in order to show your support for a group of workers who are on strike :

The airline's ground staff walked out in sympathy with catering contractors.
in sympathy

if prices on a market rise or go down in sympathy with others, they do this as a result of the others rising or going down:

Gilts advanced 23p in sympathy with the overnight rise in US treasury bonds.

(Definition of “sympathy” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)