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pathetic

[puh-thet-ik] /pəˈθɛt ɪk/
adjective
1.
causing or evoking pity, sympathetic sadness, sorrow, etc.; pitiful; pitiable:
a pathetic letter; a pathetic sight.
2.
affecting or moving the feelings.
3.
pertaining to or caused by the feelings.
4.
miserably or contemptibly inadequate:
In return for our investment we get a pathetic three percent interest.
Also, pathetical.
Origin
1590-1600
1590-1600; < Late Latin pathēticus < Greek pathētikós sensitive equivalent to pathēt(ós) made or liable to suffer (verbid of páschein to suffer + -ikos -ic
Related forms
pathetically, adverb
patheticalness, noun
hyperpathetic, adjective
hyperpathetical, adjective
hyperpathetically, adverb
quasi-pathetic, adjective
quasi-pathetically, adverb
unpathetic, adjective
unpathetically, adverb
Can be confused
bathetic, pathetic.
Synonyms
1. plaintive. 2. touching, tender. 3. emotional.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for pathetic
  • Parker's record as a cop fell somewhere between pathetic and comical.
  • Second, there was an almost complete and pathetic failure of responsible leadership.
  • Although it is horrifying, it is also pathetic.
  • He's now coaching one that could soon be equally as pathetic.
  • Their reports are pathetic, so pathetic that I want to cry.
  • His method is to close every discourse with some pathetic moral exhortation.
  • They are healthier than the man in this pathetic cartoon: He is seated at a dining table, alone.
  • I'm fine with their pathetic excuses not to come see me.
  • The entire interview was pathetic.
  • Really - this level of discourse is pathetic.
British Dictionary definitions for pathetic

pathetic

/pəˈθɛtɪk/
adjective
1.
evoking or expressing pity, sympathy, etc
2.
distressingly inadequate: the old man sat huddled in front of a pathetic fire
3.
(Brit, informal) ludicrously or contemptibly uninteresting or worthless: the standard of goalkeeping in amateur football today is pathetic
4.
(obsolete) of or affecting the feelings
plural noun
5.
pathetic sentiments
Derived Forms
pathetically, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from French pathétique, via Late Latin from Greek pathetikos sensitive, from pathos suffering; see pathos
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 pathetic
adj.

1590s, "affecting the emotions, exciting the passions," from Middle French pathétique "moving, stirring, affecting" (16c.), from Late Latin patheticus, from Greek pathetikos "subject to feeling, sensitive, capable of emotion," from pathetos "liable to suffer," verbal adjective of pathein "to suffer" (see pathos). Meaning "arousing pity, pitiful" is first recorded 1737. Colloquial sense of "so miserable as to be ridiculous" is attested from 1937. Related: Pathetical (1570s); pathetically. Pathetic fallacy (1856, first used by Ruskin) is the attribution of human qualities to inanimate objects.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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