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pathetic fallacy

the endowment of nature, inanimate objects, etc., with human traits and feelings, as in the smiling skies; the angry sea.
Origin of pathetic fallacy
coined by John Ruskin in Modern Painters Vol. III, Part IV (1856) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pathetic fallacy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Yes, and in spite of Ruskin and his "pathetic fallacy," there it was!

    Over Prairie Trails Frederick Philip Grove
  • Pessimism is the pathetic fallacy reduced to medicinal formula.

    Unicorns James Huneker
  • He has not 'the pathetic fallacy'; but he approaches it very nearly at times.

  • It also applies to what John Ruskin called the "pathetic fallacy."

    The Philosophy of Spinoza Baruch de Spinoza
  • For mind is more at home with mind than with things; the pathetic fallacy is the most inevitable and most general.

    Creative Intelligence John Dewey, Addison W. Moore, Harold Chapman Brown, George H. Mead, Boyd H. Bode, Henry Waldgrave, Stuart James, Hayden Tufts, Horace M. Kallen
  • The disrepute of the pathetic fallacy has come from making the forest sentimental.

    Minstrel Weather Marian Storm
  • We have here a specifie inversion of the 'pathetic fallacy.'

  • Not at all, however, in the fashion of the "pathetic fallacy."

    Robert Browning C. H. Herford
  • The commission of the pathetic fallacy is the judges greatest danger.

    Criminal Psychology Hans Gross
British Dictionary definitions for pathetic fallacy

pathetic fallacy

(in literature) the presentation of inanimate objects in nature as possessing human feelings
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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