pathos was our Word of the Day on 11/10/2017. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of pathos in a Sentence
- There is a pathos to the deflated certainties that left the Washington lawyer Leonard Garment weeping, inconsolable, outside the Senate chamber as the debate was ended. —Garry Wills, New York Times Book Review, 10 Sept. 1989
- Many schools at the end of the Depression were poor, but the threadbare nature of Christchurch was almost Dickensian in its pathos. —William Styron, This Quiet Dust and Other Writings, (1953) 1982
- The struggle back to solvency was arduous, and the stubborn determination and reserves of strength that it called forth from him in his mid-forties made him all at once a figure of considerable pathos and heroism in my eyes, a cross of a kind between Captain Ahab and Willy Loman. —Philip Roth, Reading Myself and Others, (1961) 1975
Our knowledge of his tragic end adds an element of pathos to the story of his early success.
Recent Examples of pathos from the Web
The great pathos in Piniella's story comes from the premature deaths of his three best friends in baseball—Yankees greats Thurman Munson, Catfish Hunter and Bobby Murcer.
There’s a lot of humor and a lot of pathos in Ann Landers’ columns over the years.
Between them, two forms of musical (and often male) angst traditions achieved reconciliation: the pathos and self-loathing of rock, and the aggrieved confidence of hip-hop.
Ludwig becomes a solitary figure of numbing pathos.
After five movies, the T. rex now evokes the soulful pathos of seeing a once-beloved action star trying to keep up with the new kids, but with a little too much paunch.
And the film gets plenty of pathos out of Andy’s relationship with Rosie, a generally sweet and tractable kid who’s too young to understand any of what’s going on, but not too young to respond warmly to displays of affection.
Today his humanity and pathos appeal to audiences in a way that more formal sculptors cannot.
Any song, in her voice, turns into a torch song — mature, elegant, restrained, swollen with pathos — made for candlelit stages and a body splayed across a piano, like Michelle Pfeiffer in The Fabulous Baker Boys, except vocally talented.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pathos.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
pathos Entered English in the 1500s
The Greek word pathos means "suffering," "experience," or "emotion." It was borrowed into English in the 16th century, and for English speakers, the term usually refers to the emotions produced by tragedy or a depiction of tragedy. "Pathos" has quite a few kin in English. A "pathetic" sight moves us to pity. "Empathy" is the ability to feel the emotions of another. Though "pathology" is not literally "the study of suffering," it is "the study of diseases." You can probably guess at more relatives of "pathos." "Sympathy," "apathetic," "antipathy," "sociopath," and "psychopath" are a few.
Origin and Etymology of pathos
PATHOS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of pathos for English Language Learners
: a quality that causes people to feel sympathy and sadness
Seen and Heard
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