A feeling of pity, distress, or grief.‘The young men, fiery savage children of a gentle civilized mother, slew with neither ruth nor pity.’
compassion, commiseration, condolence, sorrow, regret, sadness, distress, sympathy, fellow feeling, understanding, feeling, emotion
- ‘Her honesty is never ruthless in the strict sense of the word; there is ruth, or mercy, even for the worst.’
- ‘But when it comes to making personnel decisions, Johnson is legendarily ruthless; not an ounce of ruth in him.’
- ‘And speak me no soft words in ruth or pity, but tell me plainly how thou didst get sight of him. --Homer, The Odyssey’
Middle English from the verb rue, probably influenced by Old Norse hrygth.
A book of the Bible telling the story of Ruth, a Moabite woman, who married her deceased husband's kinsman Boaz and bore a son who became grandfather to King David.