adjective pa·thet·ic \pə-ˈthe-tik\

: causing feelings of sadness and sympathy

: very bad, poor, weak, etc.

Full Definition of PATHETIC

:  having a capacity to move one to either compassionate or contemptuous pity
:  marked by sorrow or melancholy :  sad
:  pitifully inferior or inadequate <the restaurant's pathetic service>
:  absurd, laughable <a pathetic costume>
pa·thet·i·cal \-ti-kəl\ adjective
pa·thet·i·cal·ly \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of PATHETIC

  1. The blind, old dog was a pathetic sight.
  2. The team was pretty bad last year, but this year they're downright pathetic.
  3. The story he told was a pathetic attempt to cover up a lie.
  4. His car is a pathetic piece of junk.
  5. The spectacle seen in the theater of the news presented the American President as a failed suppliant instead of a conquering hero—an ailing and pathetic figure dismissed with the smile of pity and the gift of some sweet candies shaped as miniature sculptures of the President's two dogs. —Lewis H. Lapham, Harper's, March 1992

Origin of PATHETIC

Middle French or Late Latin; Middle French pathetique, from Late Latin patheticus, from Greek pathētikos capable of feeling, pathetic, from paschein (aor. pathein) to experience, suffer — more at pathos
First Known Use: 1598


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