Definition of pathetic in English:

pathetic

Pronunciation /pəˈTHedik/ /pəˈθɛdɪk/

See synonyms for pathetic

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adjective

  • 1Arousing pity, especially through vulnerability or sadness.

    ‘she looked so pathetic that I bent down to comfort her’
    • ‘it was a pathetic sight’
    • ‘She is good-hearted and took pity on my pathetic form whenever I was sent to the kitchens by my mistresses.’
    • ‘His Graham is a pathetic, vulnerable figure who inspires both pity and amusement.’
    • ‘The figure, in its nakedness, has an almost ghostly, insubstantial quality, a pathetic vulnerability.’
    • ‘From the very beginning, toddlers are made to carry heavy burden of books and copies which really is a pathetic sight.’
    • ‘Most of them carried little bundles and they were a pathetic sight.’
    • ‘But your pathetic attempt to conceal your identity made me pity you.’
    • ‘It seemed somehow forlorn and pathetic as if it had been suddenly abandoned.’
    • ‘A big red bus rolled past, around a curve, and out of sight as I waved in pathetic desperation.’
    • ‘It upsets me that someone so engagingly pathetic can be so disruptive.’
    • ‘Anyone who is sick, or poor, or generally pathetic would lack credibility as a prophet.’
    • ‘She sniffed sullenly, as if trying to emphasize her disdain, but only sounded rather pathetic.’
    • ‘"Sorry… " I replied lamely, beginning to look even more pathetic.’
    • ‘I'm sure this all sounds a bit pathetic to someone in your position.’
    • ‘Writing a story about an ex-boyfriend from several months ago seemed a bit pathetic.’
    • ‘Standing, she looked down at the pathetic, toothless creature at her feet.’
    • ‘He watched as the shadowy silhouette of one of the pathetic creatures stumbled past.’
    • ‘I read the news in regards to your situation and find it pathetic.’
    • ‘You're a weak, pathetic fool, a voice said in my head.’
    • ‘Hey, call me pathetic, but I was absolutely desperate for friends.’
    • ‘His heart skipped a beat with joy and he then wondered if it made him pathetic.’
    pitiful, pitiable, piteous, to be pitied, moving, touching, poignant, plaintive, stirring
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  • 2Miserably inadequate; of very low standard.

    ‘he's a pathetic excuse for a man’
    • ‘his ball control was pathetic’
    feeble, woeful, sorry, poor, pitiful, lamentable, deplorable, miserable, wretched, contemptible, despicable, inadequate, meagre, paltry, insufficient, negligible, insubstantial, unsatisfactory, worthless
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  • 3archaic Relating to the emotions.

Origin

Late 16th century (in the sense ‘affecting the emotions’): via late Latin from Greek pathētikos ‘sensitive’, based on pathos ‘suffering’.