from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Arousing or capable of arousing sympathetic sadness and compassion: "The old, rather shabby room struck her as extraordinarily pathetic” ( John Galsworthy).
  • adj. Arousing or capable of arousing scornful pity.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Arousing pity, sympathy, or compassion.
  • adj. Arousing scornful pity or contempt, often due to miserable inadequacy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Expressing or showing anger; passionate.
  • adj. Affecting or moving the tender emotions, esp. pity or grief; full of pathos.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Expressing or showing passion; passionate.
  • Full of pathos; affecting or moving the feelings; exciting pity, sorrow, grief, or other tender emotion; affecting: as, a pathetic song or discourse; pathetic expostulation.
  • In anatomy, trochlear: in designation of or reference to the fourth crania1 nerve.
  • n. A trochlear or pathetic nerve; a patheticus.
  • Trochlear: in reference to the superior oblique muscle.
  • n. Same as patheticus, 2.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. inspiring mixed contempt and pity
  • adj. inspiring scornful pity
  • adj. deserving or inciting pity


French pathétique, from Late Latin pathēticus, from Greek pathētikos, sensitive, from pathētos, liable to suffer, from pathos, suffering.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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"). (Wiktionary)



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  • 1) Ridiculous

    2) From Greek "Pathos = Pain", which causes pain.

    January 5, 2011