Alternative formsEdit


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).


  • IPA(key): /pəˈθɛtɪk/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛtɪk


pathetic (comparative more pathetic, superlative most pathetic)

  1. Arousing pity, sympathy, or compassion.
    The child’s pathetic pleas for forgiveness stirred the young man’s heart.
    • 1883: George Reynolds, "History of the Book of Mormon: Contents of the Records, II," Contributor
      We have now arrived at one of the most pathetic and glorious events in the history of Israel, one which sanctifies the Lamanite race with the powers of martyrdom, and, by the blood of the victims, washes its garments white from many a former sin.
  2. 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.
  3. (obsolete) Expressing or showing anger; passionate.
  4. (anatomy) Trochlear.


Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Further readingEdit