Predilection vs Sympathy - What's the difference?

predilection | sympathy | Related terms |

Predilection is a related term of sympathy.

As nouns the difference between predilection and sympathy

is that predilection is predilection while sympathy is a feeling of pity or sorrow for the suffering or distress of another; compassion.



Alternative forms

* (archaic)


(en noun)
  • Condition of favoring or liking; tendency towards; proclivity; predisposition.
  • * 1987 , Edwin M. Yoder Jr., "Lewis Powell a Fine Sense of Balance," Washington Post , 29 Jun.,
  • But for him the first rule of judging was to set aside personal predilection and vote the law and the facts.
  • * 2000 , Terry McCarthy, "Lost Generation," Time Asia , 23 Oct.,
  • ... youth’s predilection for revolt.
  • * 2001 , Marina Cantacuzino, "On deadly ground," The Guardian , 13 Mar.,
  • Wilson doesn’t see any inconsistency between his socialism and his predilection for the high life.



  • A feeling of pity or sorrow for the suffering or distress of another; compassion.
  • The ability to share the feelings of another.
  • A mutual relationship between people or things such that they are correspondingly affected by any condition.
  • * 1997 , Chris Horrocks, Introducing Foucault'', page 67, ''The Renaissance Episteme (Totem Books, Icon Books; ISBN 1840460865)
  • 'Sympathy' likened anything to anything else in universal attraction, e.g. the fate of men to the course of the planets.
  • Tendency towards or approval of the aims of a movement.
  • Usage notes

    * Used similarly to empathy, interchangeably in looser usage. In stricter usage, (term) is stronger and more intimate, while sympathy is weaker and more distant; see .


    * contempt (context-dependent)

    Derived terms

    * (l) * (l) * (l), (l)