Compassionate – Definition, Meaning, Synonyms & Antonyms

Compassionate – Definition, Meaning, Synonyms & Antonyms

Compassionate meaning refers to a deep feeling of sympathy and empathy towards others' suffering, leading to a desire to alleviate it.

History of the Word Compassionate


This term originates from the Latin word compassion, meaning sympathy or pity. It traces its roots to early Latin religious texts, where compassio represented the suffering of Christ. In Old French, compassion evolved to signify empathy and concern for others' misfortunes.

By the Middle Ages, it was widely used in English, reflecting a growing emphasis on empathy as a virtue. Throughout history, compassion has played a vital role in religious, philosophical, and ethical discourse, becoming an enduring aspect of human morality.


The concept of compassion gained prominence in the Enlightenment and Romantic eras, with thinkers like Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Immanuel Kant emphasizing the importance of empathy in human nature and ethics.

In the 19th century, humanitarian movements and social reforms were often driven by compassionate ideals. Today, compassion remains a core value in various aspects of society, including healthcare, philanthropy, and interpersonal relationships.

English (compassionate As Adjective)


From Latin compassionem, meaning sympathy, reflecting a deep sense of empathy and concern for others' suffering.


Ppronounced as \kəm-ˈpa-sh(ə-)nət.

Here's a breakdown of the pronunciation:

  • com sounds like "kuhm"
  • passionate sounds like "pash-uh-nuht"

Forms of Compassionate

Adjective Compassionate
Comparative Degree More compassionate
Superlative Degree Most compassionate
Adverb Compassionately
Noun Compassion


  • Sympathetic
  • Empathetic
  • Merciful
  • Kind-hearted
  • Benevolent
  • Tender
  • Understanding
  • Caring
  • Charitable
  • Considerate


  • Unfeeling
  • Heartless
  • Callous
  • Indifferent
  • Ruthless
  • Unsympathetic
  • Merciless
  • Cold-hearted
  • Uncompassionate
  • Cruel

Derived Terms

  • Compassionately
  • Compassion

Translations of Compassionate

  • Spanish: compasivo
  • French: Compatissant
  • German: Mitfühlend
  • Italian: Compassionevole
  • Portuguese: Compassivo
  • Dutch: Medelevend
  • Russian: Сострадательный (Soostradatel'nyy)
  • Chinese (Simplified): 有同情心的 (Yǒu tóngqíngxīn de)
  • Compassionate meaning in Hindi: दयालु (Dayālu)
  • Urdu: رحم دار (Rehman Daar)

Example Sentences

  • The compassionate nurse provided comfort to the grieving family.
  • His compassionate actions toward the homeless touched many hearts.
  • She spoke in a compassionate tone, offering solace to her friend.

FAQS (People May Also Ask)

What does compassionate mean?

Compassionate refers to feeling deep sympathy and empathy towards others' suffering and a desire to alleviate it.

What are synonyms for compassionate to use in writing?

Synonyms include sympathetic, merciful, and kind-hearted.

Are there antonyms for compassion to describe those lacking empathy?

Yes, antonyms include heartless and unfeeling.

How does compassion play a role in ethics and moral philosophy?

Compassion is often considered a fundamental virtue, guiding ethical principles and moral actions.

In what contexts is compassion commonly applied in modern society?

Compassionate is often used in healthcare, social work, and humanitarian efforts, emphasizing empathy and care for others.

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