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.
pity (countable and uncountable, plural pities)
- (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
- 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), London: […] Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981, Proverbs 19:17:
- He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord.
- c. 1590–1591 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene iii]:
- He […] has no more pity in him than a dog.
- 1603, Michel de Montaigne, John Florio, transl., The Essayes […], London: […] Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount […], OCLC 946730821:, Folio Society, 2006, p.5:
- The most usuall way to appease those minds we have offended […] is, by submission to move them to commiseration and pitty.
- (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, volume (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 79426475, 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.
- (obsolete) Piety.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Wyclif to this entry?)
feeling of sympathy
pity (third-person singular simple present pities, present participle pitying, simple past and past participle pitied)
- (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 964384981, 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.
- (transitive, now regional) To make (someone) feel pity; to provoke the sympathy or compassion of. [from 16th c.]
- 1596, Edmund Spenser, “Book IV, Canto XI”, in The Faerie Queene. […], London: […] [John Wolfe] for William Ponsonbie, OCLC 960102938:
- She lenger yet is like captiv'd to bee; / That even to thinke thereof it inly pitties mee.
- a. 1681, Richard Allestree, Of Gods Method in giving Deliverance
- It pitieth them to see her in the dust.
to feel pity for someone or something — See also translations at take pity
- Short form of what a pity.
what a pity — see what a pity
- inflection of pít:
- past passive participle of piś
Declension of pity
|Masculine singular||Feminine singular||Neuter singular||Dual||Plural|
pitych (optional animate form)
Declension of pity
- inflection of pita: