Fortitude vs Compassion - What's the difference?

fortitude | compassion |


As nouns the difference between fortitude and compassion

is that fortitude is mental or emotional strength that enables courage in the face of adversity while compassion is deep awareness of the suffering of another, coupled with the wish to relieve it.

As a verb compassion is

(obsolete) to pity.

fortitude

English

Noun

(en noun)
  • Mental or emotional strength that enables courage in the face of adversity.
  • * 1612 , , King Henry VIII , act 3, sc. 2:
  • . . . I am able now, methinks,
    Out of a fortitude of soul I feel,
    To endure more miseries.
  • * , ch. 1:
  • I shall soon have need for all my fortitude , as I am on the point of separation from my own daughter.
  • * 1906 , , The Mirror of the Sea , ch. 21:
  • She may be saved by your efforts, by your resource and fortitude bearing up against the heavy weight of guilt and failure.
  • * 2012 Jan. 30, , " The Strategist," Time :
  • Mitt Romney . . . charges that Obama is an appeaser who apologizes for America, lacks fortitude and is "tentative, indecisive, timid and nuanced."
  • (archaic) Physical strength.
  • * 1604 , , Othello , act 1, sc. 3:
  • DUKE OF VENICE: The Turk with a most mighty preparation makes for
    Cyprus. Othello, the fortitude of the place is best
    known to you.

    Synonyms

    * (mental or emotional strength) inner strength, moxie, resolve

    compassion

    English

    Noun

  • Deep awareness of the suffering of another, coupled with the wish to relieve it
  • * 1849 , Robert Leighton (Archbishop of Glasgow), A practical commentary upon the first Epistle of St. Peter (page 47)
  • Oh! the unspeakable privilege to have Him for our Father, who is the Father of mercies and compassions , and those not barren, fruitless pityings, for He is withal the God of all consolations.

    Synonyms

    * empathy, pity, ruth, tenderheartedness, sorrow * kindness, heart, mercy

    Derived terms

    * compassionate * compassion fatigue

    Verb

    (en verb)
  • (obsolete) To pity.
  • * 1607 , , IV. i. 124:
  • O heavens, can you hear a good man groan / And not relent, or not compassion him?