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Pity for oneself, especially exaggerated or self-indulgent pity.

self′-pit′y·ing adj.
self′-pit′y·ing·ly adv.


the act or state of pitying oneself, esp in an exaggerated or self-indulgent manner
ˌself-ˈpitying adj
ˌself-ˈpityingly adv


pity for oneself, esp. a self-indulgent attitude concerning one's own difficulties.
self`-pit′ying, adj.



crying towel An imaginary towel offered to the kind of person who chronically complains about ill fortune, minor defeats, or other adversities. The phrase can be used teasingly or judg-mentally, implying that one who needs a “crying towel” is unnecessarily wallowing in self-pity.

cry in one’s beer To overindulge in self-pity; to be inappropriately sentimental or maudlin; to feel sorry for one-self. This expression probably derives from the fact that many people tend to become sentimental, even teary-eyed, after a few drinks. The result of such self-indulgence is often sloppy behavior and a loose tongue.

cry on [someone’s] shoulder To reveal one’s problems to another person in order to get sympathy; to assail someone’s ear with one’s woes in an attempt to win pity or to get moral support. Although the image is of a distraught person literally crying in another person’s arms, the expression is usually used hyperbolically and sometimes with a sarcastic edge undercutting the seriousness or gravity of the situation.

eat one’s heart To suffer inconsolably; to have sorrow or longing dominate one’s thoughts and feelings; to be in a constant state of mental and emotional disquietude. Spenser used this expression in The Fairie Queene (1596):

He could not rest; but did his stout heart eat.

More common today is the expression eat one’s heart out. It is often heard as a playfully sarcastic command, very different in tone from the earlier serious version of the expression.


ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.self-pity - a feeling of sorrow (often self-indulgent) over your own sufferings
sorrow - an emotion of great sadness associated with loss or bereavement; "he tried to express his sorrow at her loss"


[ˌselfˈpɪtɪ] Nautocompasión f


[ˌsɛlfˈpɪtɪ] nautocommiserazione f
References in classic literature ?
His days were filled with morbid self-pity, which eventually engendered in his weak and vacillating mind a hatred for those who had sent him here--for the very men he had at first inwardly thanked for saving him from the ignominy of degradation.
In the end he de- cided that he was simply old beyond his years and not at all a subject for self-pity.
Tears came to my eyes then, not tears of self-pity for my predicament, but tears from a heart filled with a great love--a heart that sees the sun of its life and its love setting even as it rises.
Then a dampness came into Ebbits's eyes, and I knew that the sorrow of self-pity was his.
He squatted by the white wall, the mind rummaging among the incidents of the long dooli journey, the lama's weaknesses, and, now that the stimulus of talk was removed, his own self-pity, of which, like the sick, he had great store.
One important aspect of this preparation is avoidance of self-pity.
It was a crime driven by your extraordinary selfishness and selfobsession fuelled by self-pity.
The wailing self-pity of benefits bully Iain Duncan Smith is a psychology student's PhD when the architect of the vile bedroom tax plays the victim card.
In a moment of frustration and self-pity, Kyle yells out to one of his doctors that he can't swim anymore because he's "broken".
Meanwhile, hospital, full of self-pity as he learns that his mugging may have left him almost as CORONATION STREET (7.
Through the course of the book, Rick is able to finally uncover and make peace with his father's "disappearance," resolve his relationship with his girlfriend, and work past his self-pity to reclaim his sense of self.
She is fighting this battle without an ounce of self-pity and she is an inspiration to us all.