Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Alternative forms 
From Latin patheticus, from Ancient Greek παθητικός (pathetikos, “subject to feeling, capable of feeling, impassioned”), from παθητός (pathetos, “one who has suffered, subject to suffering”), from πάσχω (paskho, “to suffer”).
- Arousing pity, sympathy, or compassion.
- The old man’s pathetic pleas for forgiveness stirred the young man’s heart.
- Arousing scornful pity or contempt, often due to miserable inadequacy.
- You can't even run two miles? That’s pathetic.
- You're almost 26 years old and you still can't hold a real job? That's pathetic.
- 2005, In Her Shoes:
- Well you'd better think of something because middle-aged tramps aren't cute, they're pathetic.
- (arousing pity): pitiful, wretched, miserable, deplorable
- (arousing scorn): disgraceful, shameful, despicable, dishonorable
Derived terms 
Related terms 
arousing pity, sympathy, or compassion
arousing scorn or contempt
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.