[ pit-ee-uh-buh l ]
/ ˈpɪt i ə bəl /


evoking or deserving pity; lamentable: pitiable, homeless children.
evoking or deserving contemptuous pity; miserable; contemptible: a pitiable lack of character.

Origin of pitiable

1425–75; late Middle English < Old French piteable, equivalent to pite(er) to pity + -able -able

Related forms

pit·i·a·ble·ness, nounpit·i·a·bly, adverbun·pit·i·a·ble, adjectiveun·pit·i·a·bly, adverb

Can be confused

piteous pitiable pitiful (see synonym study at pitiful)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pitiable

British Dictionary definitions for pitiable


/ (ˈpɪtɪəbəl) /


exciting or deserving pity or contempt

Derived Forms

pitiableness, nounpitiably, adverb
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