Deep awareness of the suffering of another accompanied by the wish to relieve it. See Synonyms at pity.
[Middle English compassioun, from Late Latin compassiō, compassiōn-, from compassus, past participle of compatī, to sympathize : Latin com-, com- + Latin patī, to suffer; see pē(i)- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.