1. (uncountable) A feeling of sympathy at the misfortune or suffering of someone or something.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Proverbs 19:17 ↗:
      He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord.
    • c. 1590–1591, William Shakespeare, “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by 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, […], printed at London: By 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.
  2. (countable) Something regrettable.
    It's a pity you're feeling unwell because there's a party on tonight.
    • It was a thousand pities.
    • 1713, Joseph Addison, Cato, published 1712, [Act 5, scene 1]:
      What pity is it / That we can die but once to serve our country!
  3. (obsolete) Piety.
Synonyms Translations Translations


  1. (transitive) To feel pity for (someone or something). [from 15th c.]
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Psalms 103:13 ↗:
      Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.
  2. (transitive, now regional) To make (someone) feel pity; to provoke the sympathy or compassion of. [from 16th c.]
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, IV.11:
      She lenger yet is like captiv'd to bee; / That even to thinke thereof it inly pitties mee.
    • It pitieth them to see her in the dust.
  • French: plaindre, avoir pitié de
  • German: bemitleiden, Mitleid haben mit
  • Italian: compatire
  • Portuguese: apiedar-se de, sentir dó de, sentir compaixão por
  • Russian: жале́ть
  • Spanish: tener lástima, compadecer

  1. Short form of what a pity.
  • shame, what a pity, what a shame

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