To pity someone is to feel sorry for that person or group of people. The word "pity" can be used as a verb or as a noun:
- We all felt pity for the family affected by the crash. (In this sentence, "pity" is a noun.)
- We all pitied the family affected by the crash. (In this sentence, "pity" is a verb.)
- Oscar took pity on a lost kitten and gave her a home by adopting her. (The verb "take" is often used with "pity," take pity)
- Sarah takes pity on homeless people and often gives them money when they ask her for it.
- There’s no need to pity a billionaire who has lost a few million dollars.
The words "pity" and "sympathy" are similar; however, in some instances, pity is unwelcome:
- Please don’t give me your pity.
- Please don’t pity me.
- I don’t want your pity.
- No one wants to be pitied.
- We welcome your sympathy, but not your pity.
- You’re life is a disaster. I pity you. (To say "I pity you" sounds insulting.)
The word "pitiful" is an adjective. If something is "pitiful," it’s terrible or sad.
- Jacob says the relationship with his girlfriend has become a pitiful disaster.
- The way Theresa behaved at the party was pitiful.
- The average teacher’s salary in the United States is pitiful.
- A pitiful amount of money is spent on providing help for refugees.
There are a few expressions that use the word "pity."
- I pity the fool who plays with guns. (pity the fool = to feel sorry for or warn someone)
- After the loss of the election, the supporters of the losing candidate held a pity party at a nearby bar. (pity party = a gathering of people who feel sorry for each other)
Learn more new words in the Word of the Day section.
November 8, 2018