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Audio » Dictionary » P » Pastor Sturnus ... Pathetic Fallacy


Pronunciation (US): 

 Dictionary entry overview: What does pathetic mean? 

PATHETIC (adjective)
  The adjective PATHETIC has 3 senses:

1. deserving or inciting pity
2. inspiring mixed contempt and pity
3. inspiring scornful pity

  Familiarity information: PATHETIC used as an adjective is uncommon.

 Dictionary entry details 

PATHETIC (adjective)

Sense 1pathetic [BACK TO TOP]


Deserving or inciting pity


hapless; poor; misfortunate; pathetic; piteous; pitiable; miserable; pitiful; wretched

Context examples:

a hapless victim / miserable victims of war / the shabby room struck her as extraordinarily pathetic / piteous appeals for help / pitiable homeless children / a pitiful fate / Oh, you poor thing / his poor distorted limbs / a wretched life


unfortunate (not favored by fortune; marked or accompanied by or resulting in ill fortune)

Sense 2pathetic [BACK TO TOP]


Inspiring mixed contempt and pity


pitiful; pitiable; pathetic

Context examples:

their efforts were pathetic / pitiable lack of character / pitiful exhibition of cowardice


contemptible (deserving of contempt or scorn)

Sense 3pathetic [BACK TO TOP]


Inspiring scornful pity


ridiculous; pathetic; silly

Context example:

how silly an ardent and unsuccessful wooer can be especially if he is getting on in years


undignified (lacking dignity)

 Learn English with... Proverbs of the week 
"Every man has a price." (English proverb)

"A crow a crow's eyes doesn't peck." (Bulgarian proverb)

"He who walks slowly arrives first." (Arabic proverb)

"Where there's a will, there is a way." (Dutch proverb)

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