1. to care about someone else's feelings when they experience sadness or negative emotion due to an unfortunate event or situation.

2. two or more people have a goal, interest or opinion in common.

3. to feel support for a person or thing.
1. "I am sorry for your loss."

2. "I would like to extend my sympathy to the family."
by cavanobrien August 7, 2014
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Nephew- " Man, that sucks to hear about Mike "
Uncle- " Hell no, I have no sympathy for his ass "
by 'Denver's Finest' March 19, 2022
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Anybody that pretends to feel sorry for, or care about somebody in a court room when a camera is rolling is usually the kind of person who wants to go back to laughing about the whole thing later on (while saying something like it wasn't funny at the time, but it was funny afterward).
The lawyers don't give a fuck about George Floyd or his life, any more than anybody else that never met the guy. He didn't even exist to most people around the world until May 25, 2020. Nobody that doesn't know a guy has sympathy for him, that isn't human.
by Solid Mantis April 11, 2021
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Sympathy differs from empathy in the following ways:

With sympathy, the helper:

Helps within his/her comfort zone
Makes a cursory judgment of the person's needs
Often will get upset when it is explicitly revealed that their help is misguided or unwelcome (after a long buildup)
May feel as if he or she is the 'mentor', or the 'superior'

With empathy, the helper:

Relates to the person on a personal basis
Forms a deep emotional bond with the person on many levels
Learns to see the situation from the person's perspective
Sees the person more as an equal, and 'walks in their shoes'.

The two should not be confused. More often than not, sympathy is the form of 'caring' that is given to those in need, and can be quite misguided, especially in dire situations that most are not used to dealing with. Most therapists, teachers, and unfortunately parents will often give this kind of 'help' to a troubled or very upset person. However, if they were willing to step outside their comfort zones, they could learn how to relate effectively.

Despite these huge differences, many indeed DO confuse the two.
I don't want your sympathy, I've had just about enough of it.
by Shadow Creator November 12, 2007
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A word in the dictionary which falls alphabetically between the words shit and syphillis.
You want sympathy? It's in the dictionary between shit and syphillis!
by B.J. Morley April 3, 2007
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Sympathy is to compassion what phoniness is to authenticity. Sympathy is a fake coin. "There, there, it'll be all right". It is cheap, easy, sentimental and most often lacks sincerity. When someone has taken ill, lost his job, gotten injured or some other mishap, it is often at their own hands, through stupidity, in attentiveness or self destructive inclinations. They will then ask for sympathy, in other words, they want a free pass so they can go out and fuck up some more - this time with your blessing. It is co-dependent behavior, at best. Now, if you want to really support someone, you'll offer compassion and honesty. When sympathy shows up, honesty usually flies out the window, as they are most often wholly incompatible. Hence the popular quip, you'll find sympathy in the dictionary between shit and syphilus. It is worse than offering nothing at all.
Please don't ask me to sympathize with you after you pulled a knife on your girlfriend and she dumped you.

When my friend had a heart attack, he was completely uninterested in constructive suggestions such as staying hydrated and eating healthier, he just wanted sympathy.
by Psychokitty June 7, 2016
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