ba·​thet·​ic | \ bə-ˈthe-tik How to pronounce bathetic (audio) \

Definition of bathetic

: characterized by bathos

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Other Words from bathetic

bathetically \ bə-​ˈthe-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce bathetic (audio) \ adverb

Did You Know?

When English speakers turned "apathy" into "apathetic" in the 1700s, using the suffix -etic to turn the noun into the adjective, they were inspired by "pathetic," the adjectival form of "pathos," from Greek pathētikos. People also applied that bit of linguistic transformation to coin "bathetic." In the 19th century, English speakers added the suffix -etic to "bathos," the Greek word for "depth," which in English has come to mean "triteness" or "excessive sentimentalism." The result: the ideal adjective for the incredibly commonplace or the overly sentimental.

Examples of bathetic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Although an ugly personal wrangle forms the bathetic close of their joint story, Conan Doyle’s integrity shines through. Alexandra Mullen, WSJ, "‘Conan Doyle for the Defense’ Review: The Case of the Innocent Man," 26 July 2018 Timothée Chamalet and Armie Hammer are superb in the central roles, and despite an unignorable bathetic turn in the supporting performances, this is an important film. Chronicle Staff Report, San Francisco Chronicle, "Capsule movie reviews for April 8," 5 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bathetic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of bathetic

1845, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bathetic

bathos + -etic (in pathetic)

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The first known use of bathetic was in 1845

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Cite this Entry

“Bathetic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2021.

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