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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Pity


PITY, noun [The Latin, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese languages unite pity and piety in the same word, and the word may be from the root of compassion; Latin patior, to suffer.]

1. The feeling or suffering of one person, excited by the distresses of another; sympathy with the grief or misery of another; compassion or fellow-suffering.

He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth to the Lord. Proverbs 19:17.

In Scripture however, the word pity usually includes

compassion accompanied with some act of charity or benevolence, and not simply a fellow feeling of distress.

PITY is always painful, yet always agreeable.

2. The ground or subject of pity; cause of grief; thing to be regretted.

What pity is it

That we can die but once to serve our country!

That he is old, the more is the pity his white hairs do witness it.

In this sense, the word has a plural. It is a thousand pities he should waste his estate in prodigality.

PIT'Y, verb transitive To feel pain or grief for one in distress; to have sympathy for; to compassionate; to have tender feelings for one, excited by his unhappiness.

Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. Psalms 103:13.

Taught by that power who pities me,

I learn to pity them.

PIT'Y, verb intransitive To be compassionate; to exercise pity

I will not pity nor spare, nor have mercy. Jeremiah 13:14.

[But this may be considered as an elliptical phrase.]