Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

Thesaurus

pathetic

adjective

Synonyms and Antonyms of pathetic

  1. 1 deserving of one's pity <the plight of the homeless family was quite pathetic> Synonyms heartbreaking, heartrending, miserable, piteous, pitiable, pitiful, poor, rueful, sorry, wretched Related Words deplorable, lamentable, regrettable; emotional, impressive, inspiring; affecting, moving, poignant, stirring, touching; awful, horrible, terrible; distressing, disturbing, upsetting; grievous, mournful, sad, sorrowful, woeful Near Antonyms unimpressive, uninspiring

  2. 2 causing unhappiness <a pathetic story that made her cry> Synonyms depressing, dismal, drear, dreary, heartbreaking, heartrending, melancholy, mournful, sad, saddening, sorry, tearful, tearyRelated Words deplorable, distressful, grievous, lamentable, unfortunate, woeful; discomforting, discomposing, disquieting, distressing, disturbing, perturbing; affecting, moving, poignant, touching; discouraging, disheartening, dispiritingNear Antonyms heartening, heartwarming, inspiring, stimulating, stirring, uplifting; agreeable, delightful, enjoyable, pleasant, pleasing, pleasurable, satisfying, welcome; exhilarating, thrillingAntonyms cheering, cheery, glad, happy

  3. 3 deserving pitying scorn (as for inadequacy) <the crowd mercilessly booed the boxer's pathetic performance> Synonyms contemptible, despicable, miserable, pitiful, pitiable, sad, sorry, wretchedRelated Words deplorable, discreditable, disgraceful, disreputable, ignominious, infamous, misbegotten, notorious, shameful; abhorrent, abominable, beastly, detestable, hateful, lousy, odious, stinking; bad, inferior, lame, poor; disgusting, dishonorable, shameful; meritless, unworthy, worthless; scandalous, shocking, sordid, unsavoryNear Antonyms admirable, commendable, creditable, laudable, meritorious, praiseworthy, redoubtable; notable, noteworthy, noticeable, outstanding, reputable, worthy; excellent; flawless, perfect; honorable, noble; honest, straightAntonyms decent, presentable, respectable

  4. 4 so foolish or pointless as to be worthy of scornful laughter <the pundit's latest book is another pathetic jumble of factual errors, half-baked political views, and baseless accusations> Synonyms absurd, cockamamy (or cockamamie), comical, derisive, derisory, farcical, laughable, ludicrous, ridiculous, preposterous, risible, sillyRelated Words asinine, brainless, dumb, fatuous, foolish, half-baked, half-witted, harebrained, idiotic (also idiotical), imbecile (or imbecilic), inane, jerky, moronic, nonsensical, simpleminded, stupid, unwise, weak-minded, witless; balmy, cockeyed, crazy, cuckoo, daffy, daft, dotty, insane, kooky (also kookie), loony (also looney), lunatic, mad, nutty, screwball, senseless, wacky (also whacky); fantastic (also fantastical), far-fetched, inconceivable, incredible, unbelievable, unreal, unrealistic, unreasonable; illogical, irrationalNear Antonyms earnest, serious, solemn; believable, conceivable, credible, logical, rational, realistic, reasonable, sensible





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up pathetic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to eat gluttonously or ravenously

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1926873504

Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?

gregarious flashy superficial tetchy
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ