From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishpitypit‧y1 /ˈpɪti/ ●●○ S3 noun 1 → a pity2 [uncountable]SYMPATHIZE sympathy for a person or animal who is suffering or unhappy → piteous, pitiable, pitiful, pitilesspity for He looked exhausted, but Marie felt no pity for him. I listened to Jason’s story with pity. I hated the thought of being an object of pity (=someone who other people feel sorry for).take/have pity on somebody (=feel sorry for someone and treat them with sympathy) He sounded so upset that Leah started to take pity on him.3 → for pity’s sake4 → more’s the pityCOLLOCATIONS – Meaning 2: sympathy for a person or animal who is suffering or unhappyverbsfeel pity (for somebody)No one can look at these photographs and not feel pity.take/have pity (on somebody) (=feel sorry for someone and treat them with sympathy)He was expecting a prison sentence but the judge took pity on him.phrasesbe filled with pity/full of pityHis heart was filled with pity for them.a feeling/sense of pityAnnie experienced a sudden feeling of pity for the young man.a wave/surge of pityThe woman looked so dejected that a wave of pity washed over me.a twinge/stab of pity (=a small feeling of pity)Charles even felt a twinge of pity for Mrs Sweet.an object of pity (=someone who people feel sorry for)He was a proud man and he didn't want to be treated as an object of pity.
Examples from the Corpuspity• It is a pity, for much of the pleasure of carp fishing is this tuning-in of a highly developed hunting instinct.• More often auctions are not reviewed; this is a pity, since the management of markets in art deserves scrutiny.• Even at nine years old, I thought it was a pity the Druitt women wrinkled up so early.• A pity the author only got the respect she deserved after her untimely death.• He looked up and saw Sylvia looking at him with apprehension and pity.• A jury felt enough pity for the mayor to find him guilty of a mere misdemeanor rather than a felony.• I have no pity for people who lie and get caught.• She was full of pity for the little boy with no one to love and care for him.• I felt an unusual twinge of pity for him and reached out and clasped one of his hands in mine.• It's a civil war. They don't want our pity, they need our help.• I felt such pity for that you girl sitting alone in the bus station.• When I returned to school, my classmates looked at me with pity in their eyes.object of pity• Joe hated being an object of pity at school.• Because of this, a household obliged to sponsor many feasts gains no prestige, but becomes rather an object of pity.• The poor themselves were presented more realistically, whether as sources of threat or as objects of pity.pitypity2 ●●○ verb (pitied, pitying) [transitive not usually in progressive] SYMPATHIZEto feel sorry for someone because they are in a very bad situation I pity anyone who has to feed a family on such a low income. Sam pitied his grandmother there alone, never going out. Pity the poor teachers who have to deal with these kids.RegisterIn everyday English, people usually say that they feel sorry for someone rather than pity them:I feel sorry for his wife.→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpuspity• Lucy is much to be pitied.• She could not apologize, but she could still pity.• I pity anyone who has to live with Rick.• He felt pity for Marla out there all by herself in some little nowhere town.• She would never allow him a reason to pity her again, to hold her in contempt.• I had pitied her up there alone, never going out in the evenings, without friends.• I don't want you to pity me - I just want you to help me.• He knew that he had served Zeus well and that he had done right to pity mortals in their helplessness.• On the ballot Tuesday should be the question: Which Bay baseball team do you pity the most?Origin pity1 (1200-1300) Old French pité, from Latin pietas “piety, pity”, from pius; → PIOUS