- 1 deserving pity or causing you to feel pity synonym pathetic The horse was a pitiful sight (= because it was very thin or sick).
- 2not deserving respect synonym poor a pitiful effort/excuse/performance Word Familypity noun verbpitiful adjectivepitiless adjectivepitiable adjectivepiteous adjective
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NAmE//ˈpɪt̮ɪfli//adverb The dog was whining pitifully. She was pitifully thin. The fee is pitifully low.