• synonyms


[bey-thos, -thaws, -thohs]
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  1. a ludicrous descent from the exalted or lofty to the commonplace; anticlimax.
  2. insincere pathos; sentimentality; mawkishness.
  3. triteness or triviality in style.
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Origin of bathos

1630–40; < Greek: depth
Can be confusedbathos pathos


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


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.

  • 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.


    Evelyn Scott

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

British Dictionary definitions for bathos


  1. a sudden ludicrous descent from exalted to ordinary matters or style in speech or writing
  2. insincere or excessive pathos
  3. triteness; flatness
  4. the lowest point; nadir
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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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper