From Middle French pathétique, from Latin patheticus, from Ancient Greek παθητικός (pathētikós, “subject to feeling, capable of feeling, impassioned”), from παθητός (pathētós, “one who has suffered, subject to suffering”), from πάσχω (páskhō, “to suffer”).
- Arousing pity, sympathy, or compassion.
- The child’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.
- (obsolete) Expressing or showing anger; passionate.
- (arousing pity): pitiful, wretched, miserable, deplorable, pathetisad
- (arousing scorn): disgraceful, shameful, despicable, dishonorable
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