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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
1630-1640
Bathos was introduced into English by Alexander Pope in his satirical 1727 essay, Peri Bathous, Or the Art of Sinking in Poetry.