adjective ba·thet·ic \bə-ˈthe-tik\

Definition of bathetic

  1. :  characterized by bathos


play \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

bathetic was our Word of the Day on 01/26/2011. Hear the podcast!

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.

Origin and Etymology of bathetic

bathos + -etic (as in pathetic)

First Known Use: 1845

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feeling or affected by lethargy

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