bathos

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Ancient Greek βάθος (báthos, depth). Used metaphorically from 1638 (Robert Sanderson). First used ironically by Pope (Bathos, 1727), in contrast to ὕψος (húpsos, sublimity).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

bathos (uncountable)

  1. Depth, bottom.
  2. An abrupt change in style, usually from high to low; an unintended transition of style; an anticlimax.
  3. Apparent hyperbole or praise marked by comic dilution or digression.
  4. Triteness; triviality; banality.
  5. Overly sentimental and exaggerated pathos.
    I like you more than I can say; but I'll not sink into a bathos of sentiment: Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte - 1847.
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