The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Pity \Pit"y\, n.; pl. Pities. [OE. pite, OF. pit['e],
piti['e], F. piti['e], L. pietas piety, kindness, pity. See
Pious, and cf. Piety.]
1. Piety. [Obs.] --Wyclif.
2. A feeling for the sufferings or distresses of another or
others; sympathy with the grief or misery of another;
compassion; fellow-feeling; commiseration.
He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the
Lord. --Prov. xix.
He . . . has no more pity in him than a dog. --Shak.
3. A reason or cause of pity, grief, or regret; a thing to be
regretted. "The more the pity." --Shak.
What pity is it
That we can die but once to serve our country!
Note: In this sense, sometimes used in the plural, especially
in the colloquialism: "It is a thousand pities."
Syn: Compassion; mercy; commiseration; condolence; sympathy,
fellow-suffering; fellow-feeling. -- Pity, Sympathy,
Compassion. Sympathy is literally fellow-feeling, and
therefore requiers a certain degree of equality in
situation, circumstances, etc., to its fullest exercise.
Compassion is deep tenderness for another under severe
or inevitable misfortune. Pity regards its object not
only as suffering, but weak, and hence as inferior.