[pey-thos, -thohs, -thaws]
the quality or power in an actual life experience or in literature, music, speech, or other forms of expression, of evoking a feeling of pity or compassion.
Obsolete, suffering.

1570–80; < Greek páthos suffering, sensation, akin to páschein to suffer

bathos, pathos. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To pathos
World English Dictionary
pathos (ˈpeɪθɒs)
1.  the quality or power, esp in literature or speech, of arousing feelings of pity, sorrow, etc
2.  a feeling of sympathy or pity: a stab of pathos
[C17: from Greek: suffering; related to penthos sorrow]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

"quality that arouses pity or sorrow," 1668, from Gk. pathos "suffering, feeling, emotion," lit. "what befalls one," related to paskhein "to suffer," and penthos "grief, sorrow;" from PIE base *kwenth- "to suffer, endure" (cf. O.Ir. cessaim, Lith. kenciu "suffer").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
The ensuing confrontation is at once bleakly funny and ridden with pathos.
But the literary reader of our day cannot tolerate pure pathos.
The final scene was an odd mixture of chaos and pathos.
Ruggles was a poet of the people, and his early work set in the Michigan
  farmland of his youth reflects a deep pathos.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature