pitiful

[ pit-i-fuhl ]
/ ˈpɪt ɪ fəl /

adjective

evoking or deserving pity: a pitiful fate.
evoking or deserving contempt by smallness, poor quality, etc.: pitiful attempts.
Archaic. full of pity; compassionate.

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Origin of pitiful

late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50; see origin at pity, -ful

synonym study for pitiful

1, 2. Pitiful, pitiable, piteous apply to that which excites pity (with compassion or with contempt). That which is pitiful is touching and excites pity or is mean and contemptible: a pitiful leper; a pitiful exhibition of cowardice. Pitiable may mean lamentable, or wretched and paltry: a pitiable hovel. Piteous refers only to that which exhibits suffering and misery, and is therefore heart-rending: piteous poverty.

OTHER WORDS FROM pitiful

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH pitiful

piteous, pitiable, pitiful (see synonym study at the current entry)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for pitiful

British Dictionary definitions for pitiful

pitiful
/ (ˈpɪtɪfʊl) /

adjective

arousing or deserving pity
arousing or deserving contempt
archaic full of pity or compassion

Derived forms of pitiful

pitifully, adverbpitifulness, noun
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