pathetic fallacy


Definition of pathetic fallacy

: the ascription of human traits or feelings to inanimate nature (as in cruel sea)

Examples of pathetic fallacy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The problem begins when that feeling is passed off as fact, in a kind of reverse pathetic fallacy, as if our emotions reflected the state of the planet. Kathryn Schulz, The New Yorker, 5 July 2021

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

First Known Use of pathetic fallacy

1856, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of pathetic fallacy was in 1856

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Cite this Entry

“Pathetic fallacy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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