Definition of pathetic in English:
- 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.
- 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.
‘Affecting the emotions’ was the early sense of pathetic which came via late Latin from Greek pathētikos ‘sensitive’, based on pathos ‘suffering’ (M17th in English). Apathy (early 17th century) is from apathēs ‘without feeling’, and empathy (from em- ‘in’ and pathos ‘feeling’) was coined by physiologists in the early 20th century. See also sympathy
- Example sentences
- It's not lost in the music, it stands out pathetically small and off-key.
- Nowhere is this more pathetically obvious than in the party slogans.
- I whimpered pathetically, then bit my lip and let the lorry go.
Words that rhyme with patheticaesthetic (US esthetic), alphabetic, anaesthetic (US anesthetic), antithetic, apathetic, apologetic, arithmetic, ascetic, athletic, balletic, bathetic, cosmetic, cybernetic, diabetic, dietetic, diuretic, electromagnetic, emetic, energetic, exegetic, frenetic, genetic, Helvetic, hermetic, homiletic, kinetic, magnetic, metic, mimetic, parenthetic, peripatetic, phonetic, photosynthetic, poetic, prophetic, prothetic, psychokinetic, splenetic, sympathetic, syncretic, syndetic, synthetic, telekinetic, theoretic, zetetic
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