pit·​e·​ous | \ ˈpi-tē-əs How to pronounce piteous (audio) \

Definition of piteous

: of a kind to move to pity or compassion

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from piteous

piteously adverb
piteousness noun

Examples of piteous in a Sentence

The child cried out in a piteous voice. a piteous beggar huddled in the doorway of an abandoned building
Recent Examples on the Web In roaring luxury markets from Manhattan to San Francisco over the past few years, buyers were a piteous bunch. Katy Mclaughlin, WSJ, "Agents Face the Return of The Bold Buyer," 6 Mar. 2019

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

First Known Use of piteous

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about piteous

Time Traveler for piteous

Time Traveler

The first known use of piteous was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for piteous

Cite this Entry

“Piteous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/piteous. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for piteous


How to pronounce piteous (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of piteous

literary : deserving or causing feelings of sympathy or pity


pit·​e·​ous | \ ˈpi-tē-əs How to pronounce piteous (audio) \

Kids Definition of piteous

: pitiful The dog let out a piteous whine.

Other Words from piteous

piteously adverb groaning piteously

More from Merriam-Webster on piteous

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for piteous

Nglish: Translation of piteous for Spanish Speakers

Comments on piteous

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!