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Word of the Day
Sunday, June 06, 2010

Definitions for bathos

  1. Triteness or triviality in style.
  2. A ludicrous descent from the exalted or lofty to the commonplace; anticlimax.
  3. Insincere pathos; sentimentality; mawkishness.

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Citations for bathos
After one character undergoes a particularly lightning-speed change in temperament, the director lays on a ludicrously coincidental plot twist with sentimental bathos that nearly swamps everything that has gone before. Ann Hornaday, "Movie review: In 'Mother and Child,' Bening and Epps give strong performances", Washington Post, May 2010
Neither, in the end, can Jacob weave his own pattern. His trans-oceanic dream of liberty and learning will close in the damp bathos of a Zeeland backwater - until, in a last spine-shivering gasp, the free spirit of the story walks again... David Mitchell, Book review: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet", Belfast Telegraph, May 2010
Origin of bathos
Bathos was introduced into English by Alexander Pope in his satirical 1727 essay, Peri Bathous, Or the Art of Sinking in Poetry.