Basic+ Word of the Day: pity

pity (noun, verb) past tense: pitied LISTEN

If you feel pity, it means that you feel sad because you see that someone is in a difficult situation.

  • He doesn't have any pity for people who ask for money on the streets.

If you pity someone, it means that you feel sad that the person is in a difficult situation.

  • I pity that man. He doesn't know anybody here.

We also use pity to say that it’s sad that a situation isn’t different.

  • It's a pity that you need to leave so early.

Common uses

When we want to tell someone that we are sad for them and would like their situation to be different, we can say, “That’s a pity.” For example: “I didn’t get the job.” “Oh no! That’s a pity.”

In pop culture

“I pity the fool!” is a very famous expression from the movie Rocky III. Watch Mr. T say, “No, I don’t hate [Rocky] Balboa, but I pity the fool.” A fool is a person who is not smart. Mr. T pities Rocky because he thinks Rocky will lose and Mr. T will win.

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Word of the Day is released Monday through Friday.

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