pitiful

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From pity +‎ -ful.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

pitiful (comparative pitifuller, superlative pitifullest)

  1. (now rare) Feeling pity; merciful.
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby-Dick:
      Straightway, he now goes on to make a full confession; whereupon the mariners became more and more appalled, but still are pitiful.
  2. So appalling or sad that one feels or should feel sorry for it; eliciting pity.
    Scotland has a pitiful climate.
  3. Very small (of an amount or number).
    A pitiful number of students bothered to turn up.

Synonyms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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