American English

Definition of pitiful adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1deserving pity or causing you to feel pity synonym pathetic The horse was a pitiful sight (= because it was very thin or sick).
  2. 2not deserving respect synonym poor a pitiful effort/excuse/performance
  3. Word Familypity noun verbpitiful adjectivepitiless adjectivepitiable adjectivepiteous adjective
adverb The dog was whining pitifully. She was pitifully thin. The fee is pitifully low.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: pitiful