[ puh-thet-ik ]
/ pəˈθɛt ɪk /
causing or evoking pity, sympathetic sadness, sorrow, etc.; pitiful; pitiable: Conditions at the refugee camp were far more pathetic than anything our training had prepared us for.
Informal. miserably or contemptibly inadequate: In return for our investment we get a pathetic three percent interest. The carpenter we hired is pathetic.
Archaic. pertaining to, caused by, or affecting the emotions: pathetic outbursts.
BEAT THE DOLDRUMS WITH THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ!
We know you’ll tackle this quiz totis viribus! See how many words from the week of Oct 12–18, 2020 you get right!
Question 1 of 7
What does “Indigenous” mean?
Sometimes pa·thet·i·cal .
Origin of pathetic
First recorded in 1590–1600; from Middle French pathétique or from Late Latin pathēticus, from Greek pathētikós “capable of emotion, impassioned, sensitive,” equivalent to pathēt(ós) “subject to suffering; one who has suffered; subject to external influence or change; (in medicine) diseased” (derivative of páschein “to suffer”) + -ikos adjective suffix; see -ic
OTHER WORDS FROM pathetic
pa·thet·i·cal·ly, adverbpa·thet·i·cal·ness, nounhy·per·pa·thet·ic, adjectivehy·per·pa·thet·i·cal·ly, adverb
qua·si-pa·thet·ic, adjectivequa·si-pa·thet·i·cal·ly, adverbun·pa·thet·ic, adjectiveun·pa·thet·i·cal·ly, adverb
WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH patheticbathetic, pathetic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for pathetic
/ (pəˈθɛtɪk) /
evoking or expressing pity, sympathy, etc
distressingly inadequatethe old man sat huddled in front of a pathetic fire
British informal ludicrously or contemptibly uninteresting or worthlessthe standard of goalkeeping in amateur football today is pathetic
obsolete of or affecting the feelings
Derived forms of patheticpathetically, adverb
Word Origin for pathetic
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