• synonyms


[pey-thos, -thohs, -thaws]
  1. 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 of sympathetic and kindly sorrow or compassion.
  2. pity.
  3. Obsolete. suffering.
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Origin of pathos

1570–80; < Greek páthos suffering, sensation, akin to páschein to suffer
Can be confusedbathos pathos


  1. a diseased condition.
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Origin of pathosis

From New Latin; see origin at path-, -osis
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


British Dictionary definitions for pathoses


  1. the quality or power, esp in literature or speech, of arousing feelings of pity, sorrow, etc
  2. a feeling of sympathy or pitya stab of pathos
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Word Origin

C17: from Greek: suffering; related to penthos sorrow
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 pathoses



"quality that arouses pity or sorrow," 1660s, from Greek pathos "suffering, feeling, emotion, calamity," literally "what befalls one," related to paskhein "to suffer," and penthos "grief, sorrow;" from PIE root *kwent(h)- "to suffer, endure" (cf. Old Irish cessaim "I suffer," Lithuanian kenčiu "to suffer," pakanta "patience").

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pathoses in Medicine


n. pl. path•o•ses (-sēz′)
  1. A state of disease.
  2. A diseased condition.
  3. A disease entity.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.