Definition for SYM-PA-THET'IC, or SYM-PA-THET'IC-AL

SYM-PA-THET'IC, or SYM-PA-THET'IC-AL, a. [Fr. sympathique. See Sympathy.]

  1. Pertaining to sympathy.
  2. Having common feeling with another; susceptible of being affected by feelings like those of another, or of feelings in consequence of what another feels; as, a sympathetic heart.
  3. In medicine, the term sympathetic is applied to symptoms and affections, which occur in parts more or less remote from the primary seat of disease, and are occasioned by some nervous connection of the parts. A disease which is immediately preceded and occasioned by another disease, is sometimes said to be sympathetic, in contradistinction from idiopathic, which is applied to a disease not preceded or occasioned by any other; but, in this case, the term symptomatic is not only more appropriate, but more commonly employed.
  4. Among alchimists, an epithet applied to a kind of powder, possessed of the wonderful property that if spread on a cloth dipped in the blood of a wound, the wound will be healed, though the patient is at a distance. This opinion is discarded as charlatanry. This epithet is given also to a species of ink or liquor, with which a person may write letters which are not visible till something else is applied.
  5. In anatomy, the term sympathetic is applied to that system of nerves, which takes its origin from the semilunar ganglion in the center of the epigastrium, and is sent to the whole nutritive system, and also to the organs of reproduction.

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