Empathy synonym

Empathy synonym DEFAULT


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[ em-puh-thet-ik ]

/ ˌɛm pəˈθɛt ɪk /


of, relating to, or characterized by empathy, the psychological identification with the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of others: a sensitive, empathetic school counselor.



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Also em·path·ic[em-path-ik]. /ɛmˈpæθ ɪk/.




empathetic , sympathetic, simpatico

Words nearby empathetic

emotivism, EMP, empale, empanada, empanel, empathetic, empathetically, empathic, empathize, empathy, Empedocles

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What does empathetic mean?

Empathetic means having or tending to have empathy—the ability or practice of imagining or trying to deeply understand what someone else is feeling or what it’s like to be in their situation.

Empathy is often described as the ability to feel what others are feeling as if you are feeling it yourself. To feel empathy for someone is to empathize. People who do this are described as empathetic.

Some people use the word empathetic interchangeably or in overlapping ways with the word sympathetic, which generally means sharing or tending to share emotions with someone else, especially sadness. However, others distinguish the two terms by emphasizing the importance of being empathetic toward others (feeling their pain) as opposed to being sympathetic toward them (feeling sorry for them).

A less common variant of empathetic is empathic.

Example: Having faced many of the same challenges, Nyala is empathetic to the struggles of immigrants.

Where does empathetic come from?

The first records of the word empathetic come from the 1900s. The word empathy, first recorded in the late 1800s, comes from a translation of the German term Einfühlung, which literally means “a feeling in.” It ultimately derives from the Greek empátheia, meaning “affection” or “passion,” from em-, meaning “in,” and path-, the base of a verb meaning “to suffer.” In contrast, the sym- in sympathetic means “with” or “together.”

While being sympathetic toward someone often means pitying them or feeling bad for them, being empathetic is feeling or attempting to feel and understand exactly how a person feels and what it’s like to be them. When you’re empathetic toward someone, you identify with them—as if you were them. In other words, being empathetic is feeling and understanding what it’s like to be “in someone else’s shoes.” Being empathetic usually involves showing kindness and having compassion—the desire to do something to help a person and reduce their pain. People described as empathetic due to being very sensitive to the emotions of others are sometimes called empathists or empaths.

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What are some other forms related to empathetic?

  • empathic (adjective)
  • empathetically (adverb)
  • empathy (noun)

What are some words that share a root or word element with empathetic


What are some words that often get used in discussing empathetic?


What are some words empathetic may be commonly confused with?

How is ​empathetic used in real life?

Empathetic is often used in discussions about how people should try to have more empathy.



Try using empathetic!

Which of the following actions is an example of being empathetic?

A. Feeling sorry for someone
B. Ignoring someone
C. Imagining how someone feels
D. Complimenting someone

How to use empathetic in a sentence

  • What is essential, though, is being empathetic while doing so.

    Empathy is an underrated weapon in fighting vaccine skepticism|jakemeth|October 13, 2020|Fortune

  • Odds are that they would return to the office chastened, and pull out all the stops to design more empathetic tech and fix these issues.

    How to fix Silicon Valley|jakemeth|October 4, 2020|Fortune

  • It starts in undergraduate education, where classes around the ethics of innovation, conscious capitalism, and empathetic tech should be made compulsory for any computer science student.

    How to fix Silicon Valley|jakemeth|October 4, 2020|Fortune

  • Campaigns and elections have always been about data—underneath the empathetic promises to fix your problems and fight for your family, it’s a business of metrics.

    The technology that powers the 2020 campaigns, explained|Tate Ryan-Mosley|September 28, 2020|MIT Technology Review

  • The Washington Post’s branded content arm, WP BrandStudio, is striving to making sure that the projects that the team is working on are effective and empathetic during this unsure time.

    How the Washington Post is creating impact through socially minded branded content|Kayleigh Barber|August 26, 2020|Digiday

  • There was the empathetic way she dealt with the revelation that Mrs. Baxter is a former criminal.

    ‘Downton Abbey’ Review: A Fire, Some Sex, and Sad, Sad Edith|Kevin Fallon|January 5, 2015|DAILY BEAST

  • In the books there was always something a little sad and empathetic about him.

    Team Peeta or Team Gale: Why the ‘Hunger Games’ Love Triangle Ruins ‘Mockingjay – Part 1’|Kevin Fallon|November 28, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • Her claims of being “dead broke” or “not truly well off” sound almost as empathetic as Marie Antoinette telling folks to eat cake.

    Stock Market America and the Rest of Us|Lloyd Green|July 10, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • It has a lot to do with empathy and prejudice—the potential to avoid an escalating conflict through the ability to be empathetic.

    Motion Capture Maestro Andy Serkis on ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ and Revolutionizing Cinema|Marlow Stern|July 8, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • Wagner, as irascible and cynical as he can be, is a subtly empathetic writer.

    This Week’s Hot Reads: Dec. 24, 2013|Thomas Flynn, Charles Shafaieh|December 24, 2013|DAILY BEAST

  • You can't lie to a trained empathetic because he can sense the real attitude behind the verbal lies.

    Sense of Obligation|Henry Maxwell Dempsey (AKA Harry Harrison)

  • It enfolded his consciousness, tenderly, protectingly, empathetic.

    Riya's Foundling|Algirdas Jonas Budrys

  • You can't lie to a trained empathetic, because he can sense the real attitude behind the verbal lies.

    Planet of the Damned|Harry Harrison

  • The empathetic is always aware of this constant and silent surge, whether he makes the effort to understand it or not.

    Planet of the Damned|Harry Harrison

  • But he did feel the wave of emotion that welled from her, impinging directly on his empathetic sense.

    Planet of the Damned|Harry Harrison

Sours: https://www.dictionary.com/browse/empathetic

Look up a word, learn it forever.

Uncompassionate means indifferent or uncaring about the way other people feel. An uncompassionate person isn't emotionally affected by the sight of someone who's crying.

An uncompassionate teacher won't accept any excuse for your lateness, even if you're upset about your sick dog. Uncompassionate laws punish people without regard for the seriousness of the crime or the reason behind it. This adjective is formed by adding un-, "not," to compassionate, "feeling sympathy or concern for others."

Definitions of uncompassionate

  1. adjective

    lacking compassion or feeling for others

    “"nor silver-shedding tears could penetrate her uncompassionate sire"- Shakespeare”

    hardhearted, stonyhearted, unfeeling

    devoid of feeling for others

    merciless, unmerciful

    having or showing no mercy


    not sympathetic or disposed toward

Sours: https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/uncompassionate
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Although empathy-related abilities emerge in the early years of life and develop in more complex forms throughout an individual's lifespan (see, e.g., Eisenberg, Spinrad, & Morris, 2013; Konrath, O'Brien, & Hsing, 2011; O'Brien, Konrath, Gruhn, & Hagen, 2013), adolescence is a vital developmental period that is viewed as a transitional stage characterized by the conflict between physical maturity and psychological immaturity and, importantly, in which the development of empathyis implicated (Blakemore & Mills, 2014).

Psychometric properties of the Chinese version of the Adolescent Measure of Empathy and Sympathy

"EmpathyDeficit Disorder" address such disturbingly common issues as: The fact that 70% of people say they are disengaged at work; The rise in anxiety and depression in children; The lack of women in leadership; as well as so many more headline-dominating crises!

Empathy Deficit Disorder

Empathyis a key component of transdisciplinary inquiries, as we have found through our own teaching experiences that when students are solving a problem for someone else they are positioned as the one in charge of their own learning who has valuable insights and contributions to help another.

the power of building empathy in STEAM

A few weeks ago, I was coaching a top leader across the pond, talking to him about the importance of empathy. When I told him that the best leaders are empathic leaders, he challenged me on the spot.

Don't Just Know Empathy, Practise It!

Critically, it taught me the importance of empathy. I realised that up until that point everything had been about me ndash my son, and my vision for him ndash when really it should have been about Ayden, and what I could do to enable him to achieve his potential.

Business leadership: the importance of empathy

Sours: //www.freethesaurus.com/

Example sentences of the word empathy

1. Adjective
The need for empathy arises in every life, all through most days.

2. Noun, singular or mass
Develop a sense of empathy for your boss and his problems.

3. Verb, base form
Other roadblocks to empathy creep into our lives, making it difficult to appreciate the feelings of others.

Quotes containing the word empathy

1. Our bodies have five senses: touch, smell, taste, sight, hearing. But not to be overlooked are the senses of our souls: intuition, peace, foresight, trust, empathy. The differences between people lie in their use of these senses; most people don't know anything about the inner senses while a few people rely on them just as they rely on their physical senses, and in fact probably even more.
- C. JoyBell C.

2. Opinion is really the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no accountability, no understanding. The highest form of knowledge… is empathy, for it requires us to suspend our egos and live in another’s world. It requires profound purpose larger than the self kind of understanding.
- Bill Bullard

3. I want to be clear about this. If you wrote from experience, you'd get maybe one book, maybe three poems. Writers write from empathy.
- Nikki Giovanni

Sours: https://www.synonym.com/synonyms/empathy

Synonym empathy

antonyms for empathetic


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

TRY USING empathetic

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How to use empathetic in a sentence

Odds are that they would return to the office chastened, and pull out all the stops to design more empathetic tech and fix these issues.


It starts in undergraduate education, where classes around the ethics of innovation, conscious capitalism, and empathetic tech should be made compulsory for any computer science student.


You can't lie to a trained empathetic because he can sense the real attitude behind the verbal lies.


It enfolded his consciousness, tenderly, protectingly, empathetic.


You can't lie to a trained empathetic, because he can sense the real attitude behind the verbal lies.


The empathetic is always aware of this constant and silent surge, whether he makes the effort to understand it or not.


But he did feel the wave of emotion that welled from her, impinging directly on his empathetic sense.




adjectivedone or felt for, or on behalf of, another

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

Sours: https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/empathetic
SYNONYMS for Kids - What are synonyms? - Words that have the same meaning

There’s a dark side to feeling the emotions of other people. In some cases, it can even lead to cruelty, aggression, and distress.


On CBeebies, the BBC service for little children, there’s a programme called Treasure Champs, which aims to teach young viewers about their feelings, and how to manage them. In one episode, the character Barry – a blue rectangle with pink eyebrows – is glum about the result of his football match.

“We lost,” says Barry.

“It doesn’t matter!” says Kari.

“It was my fault. I let all the goals in.”

“I don’t understand why you’re so sad. Just forget about it.”

“I can’t.”

“Why not? It’s just a game.”

“You’re not showing a lot of empathy, Kari. It means putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.”

“Your shoes won’t fit me, Barry.”

As definitions go, Barry’s one seems a pretty good one for empathy – it’s about projecting yourself into somebody’s mind to feel what they feel. And as the episode goes on to tell its young audience, understanding other people’s feelings is important.

In the adult world, however, the virtues of empathy are less clear. As the pandemic pushes us into isolation, culture wars rage, and disinhibited cruelty brews on social media, it feels a little controversial to suggest that empathy has downsides. Yet in recent years, researchers have found that misplaced empathy can be bad for you and others, leading to exhaustion and apathy, and preventing you from helping the very people you need to. Worse, people’s empathetic tendencies can even be harnessed to manipulate them into aggression and cruelty. So, if not empathy, what should we aim to feel instead?

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The word empathy comes from the German word “Einfühlung”, coined in the late 1800s, which might broadly translate as “feeling into”. But as psychologist Judith Hall of Northeastern University wrote in Scientific American last month, “empathy is a fundamentally squishy term”. Some see it as the ability to read their fellow human beings, or simply feeling connected to people, while others see it as more of a moral stance about showing concern for others. Even researchers disagree when they are studying it.

Still, “despite the conceptual squishiness, most people view empathy as having something to do with understanding what other people are going through and being concerned about them”, writes Hall.

The Covid-19 pandemic has tested our ability to empathise with strangers (Credit: Getty Images)

Paul Bloom, a psychologist at Yale University, defines empathy specifically as the act of stepping into someone’s mind to experience their feelings – and it’s this that he takes issue with. “Even in this narrow sense, empathy might seem like an obvious force for good. Common sense tells us that experiencing someone else’s pain will motivate us to care about and help that person,” he writes in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences. However, it leads to some tricky moral dilemmas.

To illustrate why, Bloom tells the story of a 10-year-old girl called Sheri Summers, who has a fatal disease. Doctors have placed Sheri on a waiting list for a treatment that will relieve her pain, and potentially prolong her life. Sadly, this very bright, very brave girl learns she has weeks or months before that happens.

Imagine how that feels, and how it will affect Sheri’s life. What would you do if you had the opportunity to bump her up to the top of the list?

When participants in a study were presented with Sheri’s (fictional) story, encouraging them to feel empathy for her, around three-quarters moved her up the list to get her treatment earlier.

Yet as Bloom points out, doing so could mean every other child above her on the list would have to wait even longer, many of whom might be more deserving.

This is an example of what psychologists call the “identifiable victim effect”. People are much more likely to open their hearts – or wallets – when there is a visible beneficiary whose pain could be alleviated. The charity that campaigns with a single story of a named, suffering child may win more donations compared with the charity that deploys statistics describing 1,000 anonymous children.

As journalist Tiffanie Wen wrote for BBC Future recently, this effect can also help explain why many people become numb to the deaths of strangers caused by the coronavirus – which passed one million this week – yet be in up in arms about the minor loss of personal freedoms they more directly experience. For most of us, the worst suffering of the pandemic goes unwitnessed.

Charity campaigns may be more effective when there are single 'identifiable victims' (Credit: Getty Images)

There’s nothing wrong with using personal stories to raise awareness of a worthy cause, of course, but the identifiable victim effect does nonetheless siphon billions of dollars away from where it could do more good for a greater number of people. If your goal was to help as many children as possible, a dollar spent on deworming programmes in the developing world, for instance, would go significantly further than a dollar donated in the US for an expensive medical procedure. It can be even harder to attract attention to problems that have no identifiable victim at all, such as future generations affected by climate change, who do not exist yet.

Extending empathy to abstract strangers is a particular challenge for the human mind. Originally described by the Stoics thousands of years ago, the concept of “oikeiōsis” describes how our empathy and affinity for others declines by proximity to our lives. Imagine a series of rings: in the bullseye there’s the self, the innermost ring represents one’s family, the next ring one’s friends, the next one’s neighbours, then one’s tribe or community, then one’s country, and so on.

The problem, says Bloom, comes when bad actors hijack these “circles of sympathy” to try and sway our behaviours and beliefs. Our natural empathy for those closer and more similar to us can be harnessed to provoke antipathy towards those who are not.

In one study, undergraduates were told about a fellow student in the next room, who was in the running for a cash prize in a mathematics contest against another competitor. The undergraduates were given the opportunity to force that competitor to eat distracting hot sauce before the contest. When empathy for the student was ratcheted up, by emphasising she was struggling financially, people were more likely to give a greater dose of hot sauce to her innocent opponent.

Politicians and activists on both sides of the spectrum often play to the idea of “us and them”, deploying empathy and identifiable victims to make a political case. It underpins some social media campaigns to “cancel” people, allows immigrants to be demonised, and can even stoke hatred and violence against apparent outsiders. Lynchings in the US were sometimes motivated by stories of victims affected by the crimes of black men, writes Bloom. And as I wrote a few weeks ago, leaders have also manipulated people’s natural empathic tendencies to help justify nuclear strikes, arguing that the lives of a million US soldiers – “our boys” – would be saved by launching atomic bombs against the Japanese people in a distant land.

Empathy can be manipulated to amplify antipathy for people who are different (Credit: Getty Images)

A final downside of empathy is its sometimes-incapacitating emotional impact. The philosopher Susanne Langer once called empathy an “involuntary breach of individual separateness” – and this seems to apply particularly when we observe someone suffering, such as a loved one. Brain scan studies by neuroscientist Tania Singer of the Max Planck Society in Germany have shown that when people watched others in pain, their brain activity in the regions associated with pain was partially mirrored. This may be an evolutionary adaptation to help us predict, and avoid, how pain would affect us.

“While shared happiness certainly is a very pleasant state, the sharing of suffering can at times be difficult,” writes Singer and her colleague Olga Klimecki, a neuroscientist at the University of Geneva. At its worst, people feel “empathic distress”, which can become a barrier to action. Such distress leads to apathy, withdrawal and feelings of helplessness, and can even be bad for your health, according to Singer and Klimecki. During the pandemic, this sense of empathy fatigue has become of particular concern among care-givers, such as those working in mental health support or hospital doctors and nurses.

So, where does that leave us? Surely feeling no empathy at all is worse? That would make us closer to psychopathic. These scientists are not suggesting that empathy should be actively discouraged. There are times when stepping into somebody’s shoes is a necessary first step towards positive action, care and help for others.

Instead, the research suggests that we ought to start making a clearer distinction between empathy and its apparent synonym: “compassion”. If empathy is about stepping into someone’s shoes, compassion is instead “a feeling of concern for another person’s suffering which is accompanied by the motivation to help”, according to Singer and Klimecki. To be compassionate, it does not mean you have to share somebody’s feelings. It is more about the idea of extending kindness towards others.

Bloom uses the example of an adult comforting a child who is terrified of a small, barking dog. The adult doesn’t need to feel the child’s fear to help. “There can be compassion for the child, a desire to make his or her distress go away, without any shared experience or empathic distress,” he writes.

Inspired by scanning the brains of Buddhist monks, Singer discovered that it’s possible to foster greater compassion in people, via simple training methods based on mindfulness, where the goal is to feel positive and warm thoughts about others without focusing on vicarious experience. By comparing this training with techniques designed to foster greater empathy, she and colleagues found that it reduces the effects of empathic distress and makes people more likely to be motivated to help others.

So, to return to the hurt feelings of Barry that we started with: it’s not necessary for his friend Kari to empathetically feel his pain about his football match – and it may even be bad for her. But a dose of compassion? Even for cartoon rectangles, that would go a long way.

* Richard Fisher is a senior journalist for BBC Future. Twitter: @rifish


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Sours: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200930-can-empathy-be-bad-for-you

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sense of empathy synonym | English Thesaurus




1  faculty, feeling, sensation, sensibility  

2  appreciation, atmosphere, aura, awareness, consciousness, feel, impression, intuition, perception, premonition, presentiment, sentiment  

3  definition, denotation, drift, gist, implication, import, interpretation, meaning, message, nuance, purport, significance, signification, substance  

4    (sometimes plural)   brains    (informal)  clear-headedness, cleverness, common sense, discernment, discrimination, gumption    (Brit. informal)  intelligence, judgment, mother wit, nous    (Brit. slang)  quickness, reason, sagacity, sanity, sharpness, smarts    (slang, chiefly U.S.)  tact, understanding, wisdom, wit(s)  

5  advantage, good, logic, point, purpose, reason, use, value, worth  

6  appreciate, apprehend, be aware of, discern, divine, feel, get the impression, grasp, have a feeling in one's bones    (informal)  have a funny feeling    (informal)  have a hunch, just know, notice, observe, perceive, pick up, realize, suspect, understand  
,     n  

4  bêtise    (rare)  folly, foolishness, idiocy, nonsense, silliness, stupidity  
    vb  be unaware of, fail to grasp or notice, miss, misunderstand, overlook  

common-sense  , common-sensical  
    adj  astute, down-to-earth, hard-headed, judicious, level-headed, matter-of-fact, practical, realistic, reasonable, sane, sensible, shrewd, sound  
  airy-fairy    (informal)  daft    (informal)  foolish, impractical, irrational, unrealistic, unreasonable, unthinking, unwise  

common sense    
good sense, gumption    (Brit. informal)  horse sense, level-headedness, mother wit, native intelligence, nous    (Brit. slang)  practicality, prudence, reasonableness, smarts    (slang, chiefly U.S.)  sound judgment, soundness, wit  

horse sense    
common sense, gumption    (Brit. informal)  judgment, mother wit, nous    (Brit. slang)  practicality  

sixth sense    
clairvoyance, feyness, intuition, second sight  

  • the early bird catches the worm  exp. one who arrives first has the best chance of being successful or getting the best deals; often shortened to 'early bird' and also used in the sense of 'early riser'

    Ex.: ''The early bird catches the worm, yeah maybe, but it's the second mouse that gets the cheese!'', he argued.

  • use your gumption  id. use your common sense or resourcefulness
  • goals  adj. Everything one wants in life, but in a much more dramatic sense.

    Used in slang as an adjective since 2015. Instead of “these are my goals,” you would say, “Gigi Hadid is goals.”

  • stupid  n. adj. 1. (usually of a person) lacking in intelligence, common sense, or just in general awareness; clumsy or idiotic. 2. [colloquial] [noun] a person that displays these character traits. 3. [informal] used for emphasis when something is dull, irritating, or nonsensical.

    1. "I thought that I was stupid for failing my exam, but at least I tried," 2. "That's not how you do it, stupid!" 3. "I'm tired of this stupid computer!"


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