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[em-puh-thee] /ˈɛm pə θi/

the psychological identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.
the imaginative ascribing to an object, as a natural object or work of art, feelings or attitudes present in oneself:
By means of empathy, a great painting becomes a mirror of the self.
the power of understanding and imaginatively entering into another person’s feelings See also identification (sense 3b)
the attribution to an object, such as a work of art, of one’s own emotional or intellectual feelings about it

1903, from German Einfühlung (from ein “in” + Fühlung “feeling”), coined 1858 by German philosopher Rudolf Lotze (1817-1881) as a translation of Greek empatheia “passion, state of emotion,” from en “in” (see en- (2)) + pathos “feeling” (see pathos). A term from a theory of art appreciation that maintains appreciation depends on the viewer’s ability to project his personality into the viewed object.

empathy em·pa·thy (ěm’pə-thē)

em’pa·thet’ic (-thět’ĭk) or em·path’ic (-pāth’ĭk) adj.
empathy [(em-puh-thee)]

Identifying oneself completely with an object or person, sometimes even to the point of responding physically, as when, watching a baseball player swing at a pitch, one feels one’s own muscles flex.


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