- having or showing compassion: a compassionate person; a compassionate letter.
- granted in an emergency: compassionate military leave granted to attend a funeral.
- Obsolete. pitiable.
verb (used with object), com·pas·sion·at·ed, com·pas·sion·at·ing.
- Archaic. to pity or have compassion for.
- showing or having compassion
- compassionate leave leave granted, esp to a serviceman, on the grounds of bereavement, family illness, etc
adj.1590s, from un- (1) “not” + compassionate. adj.1580s, from compassion + -ate (1). Related: Compassionately. Phrase compassionate conservatism in American political language recorded by 1992, popularized, if not coined, by Marvin Olasky, University of Texas at Austin instructor.