Compassionate nurse with her patient
Compassionate nurse with her patient

Passion and Compassion: the differences

The English language nouns Passion and Compassion have related meanings, but they are different, as I shall explain, using British English examples.

Passion is a strong emotional feeling, which can be romantic or a compelling liking for something, or an overwhelming interest in something, such as a sport, hobby, way of living, or thinking. It can sometimes even be violent emotion.
"His passion for football is obvious."
"He was stirred to passion after his house was burgled."
"I think your passion for travel would disappear if we had to stay in cheap hotels."

Passionate (adjective) describes the strong attraction or emotion towards something.
"I am passionate about baking."
"You have to be passionate about food to be a vegan."
"I will only coach players who are passionate about the game."
"When they finally met in real life, their embrace was passionate."

Compassion is the concern or pity shown towards someone or a group or cause that is suffering or has misfortune. Someone showing compassion will act in the sufferer's best interests, for example by giving practical or emotional support, making them feel worthwhile, protected, secure and loved
"He was a rough man, but always showed compassion towards his flock."
"When the tenant lost his job, the landlord's compassion was unusually strong."
"Compassion is an important characteristic of medical staff."

Compassionate (adjective) describes someone showing concern for those who are suffering.
"He was extremely compassionate towards his mother in her final days."
"My father was not very compassionate when I lost my job."
"Would you be as compassionate towards the workers if your business was losing money?"

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