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pathetic

adjective

  1. (unfortunate)  deserving or inciting pity
    Synonyms: hapless, miserable, misfortunate, pathetical, piteous, pitiable, pitiful, poor, wretched...
  2. (contemptible)  inspiring mixed contempt and pity
    Synonyms: pathetical, pitiable, pitiful. Similar to: contemptible
  3. (undignified)  inspiring scornful pity
    Synonyms: pathetical, ridiculous, silly. Similar to: undignified

Etymology summary

"affecting the emotions, exciting the passions", from Middle French pathétique...
(Source: Online Etymology)  [more]

Definition references

Collins Dictionary:

pathetic | pathetically [adverb, derived]

evoking or expressing pity, sympathy, etc | distressingly inadequate | [British, informal] ludicrously or contemptibly uninteresting or worthless | ... (16 of 489 words, 5 definitions, 11 usage examples, pronunciation)

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/pathetic

Merriam-Webster:

pathetic | sad [synonym, sense-specific] | absurd [synonym, sense-specific] | laughable [synonym, sense-specific] | heartbreaking [synonym, sense-specific] | heartrending [synonym, sense-specific] | miserable [synonym, sense-specific] | piteous [synonym, sense-specific] | pitiable [synonym, sense-specific] | ...

having a capacity to move one to either compassionate or contemptuous pity | marked by sorrow or melancholy; "sad" | pitifully inferior or inadequate ... (22 of 314 words, 4 definitions, 2 usage examples, pronunciations)

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/dictionary​/pathetic

Oxford Dictionary:

pathetic | pathetically [derived]

arousing pity, especially through vulnerability or sadness | [informal] : miserably inadequate | [archaic] : relating to the emotions. (17 of 84 words, 3 definitions, 2 usage examples, pronunciation)

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/english​/pathetic

Macmillan British Dictionary:

pathetic | pathetically [adverb, related]

useless or not effective in an annoying way | if someone or something looks or sounds pathetic, you feel sympathy for them (21 of 70 words, 2 definitions, 4 usage examples, pronunciations)

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/pathetic

American Heritage Dictionary:

pathetic | pathetical [sense-specific] | pathetically [adverb, related]

Arousing or capable of arousing sympathetic sadness and compassion | Arousing or capable of arousing scornful pity. (16 of 61 words, 2 definitions, 1 usage example, pronunciations)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/pathetic

Cambridge Dictionary:

pathetic [entry 1] | pathetically [adverb, derived]

causing feelings of sadness, sympathy or sometimes lack of respect, especially because a person or an animal is suffering (19 of 56 words, 2 usage examples, pronunciations)

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/pathetic 1

pathetic [entry 2, disapproving] | pathetically [adverb, derived]

making someone feel no respect, often because unsuccessful or showing no ability, effort or bravery (15 of 43 words, 2 usage examples, pronunciations)

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/pathetic 2

Random House Dictionary:

pathetic

causing or evoking pity, sympathetic sadness, sorrow, etc.; pitiful; pitiable. | affecting or moving the feelings. | pertaining to or caused by the ... (21 of 54 words, 4 definitions, 2 usage examples, pronunciation)

dictionary​.infoplease​.com​/pathetic

New World Dictionary:

pathetic | pathetical [sense-specific] | pathetically [adverb, related]

expressing, arousing, or intended to arouse pity, sorrow, sympathy, or compassion; pitiful | pitifully unsuccessful, ineffective, etc. | of the ... (18 of 39 words, 3 definitions, 1 usage example, pronunciation)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/pathetic

Wiktionary:

pathetic | pathetical | pathetick [archaic, sense-specific] | patheticke [obsolete, sense-specific] | pathetique [obsolete, sense-specific] | pitiful [synonym, sense-specific] | wretched [synonym, sense-specific] | miserable [synonym, sense-specific] | deplorable [synonym, sense-specific] | ...

Arousing pity, sympathy, or compassion. | Arousing scornful pity or contempt, often due to miserable inadequacy. (15 of 27 words, 2 definitions, 4 usage examples, pronunciation)

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/pathetic

Encarta Dictionary:

pathetic

provoking or expressing feelings of compassion and pity | so inadequate as to be laughable or contemptible (informal) (17 of 53 words, 2 definitions, pronunciation)

encarta​.msn​.com​/dictionary 1861724198​/definition​.html  [offline]

Etymology references

Online Etymology:

pathetic

First use: 1590s

Origin: "affecting the emotions, exciting the passions", from Middle French pathétique "moving, stirring, affecting" (16th century), from Late Latin ... (19 of 75 etymology words)

www​.etymonline​.com​/index​.php term=pathetic

Wiktionary:

pathetic

Origin: Latin patheticus, from Ancient Greek παθητικός (pathetikos, "subject to feeling, capable of feeling, impassioned"), from παθητός (pathetos, "one who has suffered, subject to suffering"), from... (25 of 29 etymology words)

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/pathetic

Merriam-Webster:

pathetic

First use: 1598

Origin: Middle French or Late Latin; Middle French pathetique, from Late Latin patheticus, from Greek pathētikos capable of feeling, ... (19 of 27 etymology words)

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/dictionary​/pathetic

American Heritage Dictionary:

pathetic

Origin: French pathétique, from Late Latin pathēticus, from Greek pathētikos, sensitive, from pathētos, liable to ... (14 of 23 etymology words)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/pathetic

Oxford Dictionary:

pathetic

First use: late 16th century

Origin: (in the sense "affecting the emotions"): via late Latin from Greek pathētikos "sensitive", based on pathos "suffering"

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/english​/pathetic

Collins Dictionary:

pathetic

First use: 16th century

Origin: from French pathétique, via Late Latin from Greek pathetikos sensitive, from pathos suffering; see pathos

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/pathetic

New World Dictionary:

pathetic

Origin: Late Latin patheticus from Greek pathētikos, akin to pathos, suffering, "pathos"

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/pathetic

Encarta Dictionary:

pathetic

First use: Late 16th century

Origin: French and late Latin from Greek pathētikos "sensitive" from pathos "feeling"

encarta​.msn​.com​/dictionary 1861724198​/definition​.html  [offline]

Audio references

Wiktionary:

pathetic

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "pathetic"

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/pathetic

Collins Dictionary:

pathetic

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "pathetic"

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/pathetic

Macmillan British Dictionary:

pathetic

Audio: British English pronunciation of "pathetic"

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/pathetic

Macmillan American Dictionary:

pathetic

Audio: North American pronunciation of "pathetic"

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/american​/pathetic

Cambridge Dictionary:

pathetic [entry 1]

Audio 1: British English pronunuciation of "pathetic"

Audio 2: North American English pronunuciation of "pathetic"

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/pathetic 1

the Free Dictionary:

pathetic

Audio 1: North American English pronunciation of "pathetic"

Audio 2: British English pronunciation of "pathetic"

Audio 3: North American English pronunciation of "pathetic" by speech synthesizer

www​.thefreedictionary​.com​/pathetic

Google Dictionary:

pathetic

Audio: English pronunciation of "pathetic"

www​.google​.com​/#hl=en&tbs=dfn​:1&fp=1&q=pathetic

Merriam-Webster Pronunciation:

pathetic

Audio: North American pronunciation of "pathetic"

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/audio​.php file=pathet​01 word=pathetic

YourDictionary Audio:

pathetic

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "pathetic" by speech synthesizer

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/pathetic

freedictionary.org:

pathetic

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "pathetic" by speech synthesizer

freedictionary​.org​/ Query=pathetic

Page last updated: 2013-06-26

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