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[bey-thos, -thaws, -thohs] /ˈbeɪ θɒs, -θɔs, -θoʊs/
a ludicrous descent from the exalted or lofty to the commonplace; anticlimax.
insincere pathos; sentimentality; mawkishness.
triteness or triviality in style.
Origin of bathos
1630-40; < Greek: depth
Can be confused
bathos, pathos.
2. maudlinness, tearfulness; mush, gush, schmaltz. 3. insipidity, inanity. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for bathos
  • But there is nothing but excess, self-indulgence and bathos.
  • And in reading their requests the bathos of the ultimate penalty is impossible to ignore.
  • The film is an unqualified delight, never descending into sloppy sentiment or boggy bathos.
  • In essence, it is this portion of the drama that is often awash in the sudsy waves of bathos.
  • It does slop over into bathos with increasing frequency near the end, but each time it recovers itself.
  • The pathos and the bathos of it beat anything ever heard before or since.
  • There is no bathos and there are plenty of amusing incidents to relieve the tension.
  • Too bad that this enjoyable and provocative book should end on a note of bathos.
  • The bathos and the pathos all rolled into one big scene staged before me on the tube and playing out in my mind.
  • The saga of this family brings forth so much indescribable empathy and bathos.
British Dictionary definitions for bathos


a sudden ludicrous descent from exalted to ordinary matters or style in speech or writing
insincere or excessive pathos
triteness; flatness
the lowest point; nadir
Word Origin
C18: from Greek: depth, from bathus deep
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bathos

"anticlimax, a descent from the sublime to the ridiculous," 1727, from Greek bathos "depth," related to bathys "deep" (see benthos). Introduced by Pope.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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