take pity on


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Related to take pity on: have pity

take pity on (someone or something)

To treat someone or something kindly due to feeling sympathy or compassion toward them, especially because of their misfortune or suffering. Oh, take pity on Bill—he's been sick all week. That's the only reason he's fallen behind in his work. The king took pity on the old beggar, who turned out to be a wizard.
See also: on, pity, take

take pity on

Also, have pity on. Show compassion or mercy to, as in Take pity on the cook and eat that last piece of cake, or, as Miles Coverdale's 1535 translation of the Bible has it (Job 19:21), "Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye, my friends." This idiom may be used half-jokingly, as in the first example, or seriously. [Late 1200s]
See also: on, pity, take