1. Feeling corresponding to that which another feels; the quality of being affected by the affection of another, with feelings correspondent in kind, if not in degree; fellow-feeling. "They saw, but other sight instead a crowd Of ugly serpents! Horror on them fell, And horrid sympathy." (Milton)
4. <physiology> The reciprocal influence exercised by the various organs or parts of the body on one another, as manifested in the transmission of a disease by unknown means from one organ to another quite remote, or in the influence exerted by a diseased condition of one part on another part or organ, as in the vomiting produced by a tumour of the brain. That relation which exists between different persons by which one of them produces in the others a state or condition like that of himself. This is shown in the tendency to yawn which a person often feels on seeing another yawn, or the strong inclination to become hysteric experienced by many women on seeing another person suffering with hysteria.
Origin: F. Sympathie, L. Sympathia, Gr.; with + suffering, passion, fr, to suffer. See Syn-, and Pathos.
(01 Mar 1998)
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