- 1Arousing pity, especially through vulnerability or sadness: she looked so pathetic that I bent down to comfort herMore example sentences
- 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.
- 1.1 • informal Miserably inadequate: his test scores in Chemistry were patheticMore example sentences
- Then we get this paltry, pathetic excuse for a bill, and we are all supposed to become excited about it.
- Karl made some pathetic excuse about having to go to Croydon.
- That article was the most pathetic excuse for him to showcase his infantile vocabulary.
late 16th century (in the sense 'affecting the emotions'): via late Latin from Greek pathētikos 'sensitive', based on pathos 'suffering'.