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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle French pathétique, from Latin patheticus, from Ancient Greek παθητικός (pathētikós, subject to feeling, capable of feeling, impassioned), from παθητός (pathētós, one who has suffered, subject to suffering), from πάσχω (páskhō, to suffer).


  • IPA(key): /pəˈθɛtɪk/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛtɪk


pathetic (comparative more pathetic, superlative most pathetic)

  1. Arousing pity, sympathy, or compassion.
    The child’s pathetic pleas for forgiveness stirred the young man’s heart.
  2. 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.
  3. (obsolete) Expressing or showing anger; passionate.
  4. (anatomy) Trochlear.


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Related terms[edit]


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 Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Further reading[edit]