I'm looking for a word that describes how a reader emotes with the characters. The reader doesn't empathize with a character, instead he feels the very same emotions as the character coursing through him/her.

Usage in a sentence:

  1. John truly (verb) with/for this character.
  2. John is (adjective) of this character.
  • Perharps 'paralleled' - the reader paralleled the emotions of the character ?
    – Stefan
    Commented Jan 12, 2019 at 16:26
  • Perpetually, single-word-requests must include an example sentence (with a blank for the requested word) to illustrate how you intende to use the word. Check this out.
    – Jacinto
    Commented Jan 12, 2019 at 16:35
  • Can "pathos" be used for this? "1. the quality or power, esp in literature or speech, of arousing feelings of pity, sorrow, etc"
    – Zebrafish
    Commented Jan 13, 2019 at 20:48

5 Answers 5


The reader "identifies" with the characters in the book.

[identify with someone] to feel that you can understand and share someone else’s feelings

-MacMillan Dictionary online

  • Hi Mark, welcome to EL&U. This isn't a bad start, but it's too short: the system has flagged it as "low-quality because of its length and content." An answer on EL&U is expected to be authoritative, detailed, and explain why it is correct. It's best if you edit your answer to provide more information - e.g., add a published definition of the relevant meaning of identify (linked to the source) and examples of its use. For further guidance, see How to Answer and take the EL&U Tour :-) Commented Jan 12, 2019 at 22:15
  • The reader relates to the character in the fictional work X.

relate Vocabulary.com

make a logical or causal connection; establish or demonstrate a connection between


relate OED

intransitive. With to. To understand or have empathy for; to identify or feel a connection with.

The verb relate means "to make a connection." To connect to or with is good too.


You could describe the reader's emotions as vicarious .. e.g.

"..the reader's vicarious joy at the protagonist's return to his family.."


".. the reader vicariously experienced the protagonist's joy.."


You might have luck with something like "mirror" in verb form.

"As Joe dug deeper into the novel his horror mirrored that of Dr Aunoir, the doomed narrator."

If you wanted to take it further, perhaps the reader could "inhabit" the character's emotions.


You're on the money with empathise.

According to Cambridge Online:

Empathise: verb: to be able to understand how someone else feels:

Example: It's very easy to empathize with the characters in her books.

I'm sure you could find a slightly more specific word but it would be pretty obscure.

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