- pitifull (archaic)
- (now rare) Feeling pity; merciful.
- c. 1588–1593, [William Shakespeare], The Most Lamentable Romaine Tragedie of Titus Andronicus: As It was Plaide by the Right Honourable the Earle of Darbie, Earle of Pembrooke, and Earle of Sussex Their Seruants (the First Quarto), London: Printed by Iohn Danter, and are to be sold by Edward White & Thomas Millington, at the little North doore of Paules at the signe of the Gunne, published 1594, OCLC 222241046, [Act II, scene iii]:
- Some ſay that Rauens foſter forlorne children, / The whilſt their owne birds famiſh in their neſts: / Oh be to me though thy hard hart ſay no, / Nothing ſo kinde but ſomething pittiful.
- 1851, Herman Melville, Moby-Dick:
- Straightway, he now goes on to make a full confession; whereupon the mariners became more and more appalled, but still are pitiful.
- So appalling or sad that one feels or should feel sorry for it; eliciting pity.
- Scotland has a pitiful climate.
- Of an amount or number: very small.
- A pitiful number of students bothered to turn up.
so appalling or sad that one feels or should feel sorry for it
of an amount or number: very small
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