1. The ability to identify with or understand the perspective, experiences, or motivations of another individual and to comprehend and share another individual's emotional state. See Synonyms at pity.
2. The projection of one's own feelings or thoughts onto something else, such as an object in a work of art or a character in a novel or film.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
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.