English edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English pitye, pitie, pittye, pitee, pite, from Anglo-Norman pité, pittee etc., from Old French pitet, pitié, from Latin pietās. See also the doublets pietà and piety.

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /ˈpɪ.ti/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪti

Noun edit

pity (countable and uncountable, plural pities)

  1. (uncountable) A feeling of sympathy at the misfortune or suffering of someone or something.
    I can't feel any pity towards the gang, who got injured while attempting to break into a flat.
    take pity on someone
  2. (countable) Something regrettable.
    It's a pity you're feeling unwell because there's a party on tonight.
    What a pity about the band breaking up. I loved them!
    • 1759–1767, [Laurence Sterne], The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, volumes (please specify |volume=I to IX), London: [] T. Becket and P. A. Dehondt, []:
      It was a thousand pities.
    • 1712 (date written), [Joseph] Addison, Cato, a Tragedy. [], London: [] J[acob] Tonson, [], published 1713, →OCLC, Act I, scene v, page 1:
      What pity is it / That we can die but once to serve our country!
    • 1941 September, O. S. Nock, “The Locomotives of Sir Nigel Gresley: Part V”, in Railway Magazine, page 395:
      It is a thousand pities that no more detailed records than those of the guard's journals are available, but enough is known to establish them firmly among the finest feats ever achieved by "A3" Pacifics.
  3. (obsolete, Early Modern) Piety.
    • 1558, Thomas Watson, Holsome and Catholyke doctryne concerninge the seuen Sacramentes of Chrystes Church, [][1], folio 105v:
      Euen so on the other syde a mans harte is contrite, when it is cutte with compunction, mollified with pitie and deuotion, moued with prayers and exhortation, is affraide by threatninges, allured by kindnes, ashamed of dishonesty, geuing place to Gods inspiration, []
    • 1573, James Sanforde, transl., The Garden of Pleasure [][2], folio 58v:
      A maruellous stoutnesse of a mans minde, accompanied vvith pitie tovvardes his countrie.
      When Lucius Scilla had ouercom by force of armes the Citie of Preyneste he gaue leaue and commission to the Souldiers that they should destroye it, and kyll all the Citizens sauing his Host, meaning with this good turne to shewe himselfe thankfull vnto hym, for manye curtesies receiued of hym at other times in his lodging. But that valiant Citizen hering of this commission, went foorth incontinently out of his house disguised & preasing in among other of his countrimen, sayd, that he had rather die, than owe his life to the destroyer of his countrie.
    • 1579 July 19, John Dyos, A Sermon preached at Paules Crosse the 19. of Iuli 1579 [][3], published 1579, folios 48v–49r:
      The Church of Rome beyng moued neither with pitie, zeale, truth, reasõ, nor honesty, but onely with ambition and couetousnesse refuseth none, so they will shew thẽ selues to be of that Catholicke Church. Traytours, murtherers, theeues, coseners, cutters, adulters, baudes, strumpets and all other gracelesse persons may vpon the sayd cõditiõ haue safe accesse to Rome and be of that Church.

Synonyms edit

Translations edit

Verb edit

pity (third-person singular simple present pities, present participle pitying, simple past and past participle pitied)

  1. (transitive) To feel pity for (someone or something). [from 15th c.]
    You have got to pity the guy - he lost his wife, mother and job in the same month.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], →OCLC, Psalms 103:13:
      Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.
    • 1902, Hilaire Belloc, The Path to Rome:
      Nor could she get round them on a single point, and I pitied her so much that I bought bread and wine off her to console her, and I let her overcharge me, and went out into the afterglow with her benediction, followed also by the farewells of the middle-class, who were now taking their coffee at little tables outside the house.
  2. (transitive, now regional) To make (someone) feel pity; to provoke the sympathy or compassion of. [from 16th c.]

Translations edit

Interjection edit

pity!

  1. Ellipsis of what a pity.

Synonyms edit

Translations edit

Derived terms edit

Czech edit

Pronunciation edit

Participle edit

pity

  1. inflection of pít:
    1. inanimate masculine plural passive participle
    2. feminine plural passive participle

Lower Sorbian edit

Pronunciation edit

Participle edit

pity

  1. past passive participle of piś

Declension edit

Polish edit

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /ˈpi.tɨ/
  • Rhymes: -itɨ
  • Syllabification: pi‧ty

Participle edit

pity (passive adjectival)

  1. masculine singular passive adjectival participle of pić

Declension edit

Noun edit

pity f

  1. inflection of pita:
    1. genitive singular
    2. nominative/accusative/vocative plural