From Latin patheticus, from Ancient Greek παθητικός (pathetikos, “subject to feeling, capable of feeling, impassioned”), from παθητός (pathetos, “one who has suffered, subject to suffering”), from πάσχω (paskho, “to suffer”).
- Arousing pity, sympathy, or compassion.
- The old man’s pathetic pleas for forgiveness stirred the young man’s heart.
- Arousing scornful pity or contempt, often due to miserable inadequacy.
- You can't even run two miles? That’s pathetic.
- You're almost 26 years old and you still can't hold a real job? That's pathetic.
- 2005, In Her Shoes:
- Well you'd better think of something because middle-aged tramps aren't cute, they're pathetic.
- (arousing pity): pitiful, wretched, miserable, deplorable, pathetisad
- (arousing scorn): disgraceful, shameful, despicable, dishonorable
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