Defining Empathy
A Way of Being for a Better World


What is Empathy? What does Empathy Mean? What is the Definition of Empathy?


To discover and set forth the meaning of something, such as a word.
To state or describe exactly the nature, scope, or meaning of.
To show or describe something clearly and completely.

To explain the meaning of a word, phrase, etc.
To mark out the boundary or limits of.

The Problem

There is a great deal of confusion of what empathy means and this confusion is an impediment to developing an empathy movement. That is a movement to raise the level of empathy in society with the intention of fostering greater wellbeing for all. We need to create greater clarity with a Systematic Empathy Definitions Typology that is very easy and accessible for the average person to understand and use.

Project Description

This is a project website for working on developing a typology of definitions of empathy. It will include the spectrum of definitions from academia, different fields, general public, etc. We are just starting on this project and use this website to organize the material we come up with. See the google doc below for more.

Definition of Empathy Course

We are also developing an in-depth training course on definition of empathy.

Project Methodology

This definition project is unique in that we use a highly empathic approach to work on exploring and articulating the definitions. We use the Empathy Circle practice to discuss the definitions issues. We are also mapping the definition to the experience of the Empathy Circle. This allows people to experience the definition aspects by taking part in an Empathy Circle.

Join the Project Team

We are looking for more experts in empathy to join the project. If you have a deep knowledge, interest and experience with empathy, we invite you to contact us to join the development team. Email: