Sympathy is a feeling of sorrow associated specifically with the suffering or need of another. Literally, it is fellow-feeling – empathy for emotions that indicate suffering – has both automatic component and deliberative influences. The quality or state of being affected by the condition of another with a feeling similar or corresponding to that of the other; the fact or capacity of entering into or sharing the feelings of another or others; fellow-feeling. Also, a feeling or frame of mind evoked by and responsive to some external influence. Const. with (a person, etc., or a feeling) (source: Oxford English Dictionary).
The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education > Research > Compassion Wiki > Compassion Definitions > Sympathy