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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for bathos
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was an anti-climax, a bathos, of which St. Augustine is seldom guilty.

    My New Curate P.A. Sheehan
  • There is sometimes, too, a falling off, not far removed from the bathos.

    A Pindarick Ode on Painting Thomas Morrison
  • One of their favourite blunders is an amazing sort of bathos.

    Utopia of Usurers and other Essays Gilbert Keith Chesterton
  • Outwardly cynical, he was sentimental to the point of bathos.

    Narcissus Evelyn Scott
  • Then will come the crowning event, after which all must necessarily be bathos.

  • It was called, by a kind of bathos in nomenclature, “America.”

    The Indian in his Wigwam Henry R. Schoolcraft
  • The romance of these remarkable espousals was not to find its conclusion in bathos.

    Vendetta Marie Corelli
  • Under the circumstances, there was bathos amid the poor girl's pathos!

    Wanted: A Cook Alan Dale
  • This may be bathos in individual cases, yet it is the offspring of truth.

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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