Definition of pathetic adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//pəˈθetɪk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//pəˈθetɪk//
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  1. 1making you feel pity or sadness synonym pitiful a pathetic and lonely old man The starving children were a pathetic sight.
  2. 2(informal, disapproving) weak and not successful synonym feeble a pathetic excuse She made a pathetic attempt to smile. I know it sounds pathetic, but I can’t ride a bike. You're pathetic!
  3. Word Originlate 16th cent. (in the sense ‘affecting the emotions’): via late Latin from Greek pathētikos ‘sensitive’, based on pathos ‘suffering’.Extra examples It was a rather pathetic excuse. The whole thing is absolutely pathetic. There was something a little pathetic about her. What a pathetic little wimp you are, Graham! I know it sounds pathetic, but I can’t ride a bike. She thought he looked a pathetic figure of a man. That was an absolutely pathetic excuse. You’re pathetic!
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: pathetic

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