Word of the Day : January 26, 2011

bathetic

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adjective buh-THET-ik

Definition

: characterized by triteness or sentimentalism

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

The author has presented us with another bathetic coming-of-age love story.

“Just before Ms. MacGraw utters the deathless catchphrase ‘Love means never having to say you’re sorry,’ Crimson Key members loudly implore her, ‘Don’t say it!’ At the conclusion, when Mr. O’Neal repeats her bathetic utterance, they shout, ‘Plagiarist!’ And so it goes.” -- From an article by Thomas Vinciguerra in the New York Times, August 20, 2010



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'Bathetic' — Video Word of the Day 3/11/2019

adj. - excessively trite or sentimental


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