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Wordnet 3.0

ADJECTIVE (3)

1. deserving or inciting pity;
- Example: "a hapless victim"
- Example: "miserable victims of war"
- Example: "the shabby room struck her as extraordinarily pathetic"- Galsworthy
- Example: "piteous appeals for help"
- Example: "pitiable homeless children"
- Example: "a pitiful fate"
- Example: "Oh, you poor thing"
- Example: "his poor distorted limbs"
- Example: "a wretched life"
[syn: hapless, miserable, misfortunate, pathetic, piteous, pitiable, pitiful, poor, wretched]

2. inspiring mixed contempt and pity;
- Example: "their efforts were pathetic"
- Example: "pitiable lack of character"
- Example: "pitiful exhibition of cowardice"
[syn: pathetic, pitiable, pitiful]

3. inspiring scornful pity;
- Example: "how silly an ardent and unsuccessful wooer can be especially if he is getting on in years"- Dashiell Hammett
[syn: pathetic, ridiculous, silly]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Pathetic \Pa*thet"ic\ (p[.a]*th[e^]t"[i^]k), a. [L. patheticus, Gr. paqhtiko`s, fr. paqei^n, pa`schein, to suffer: cf. F. path['e]tique. See Pathos.] 1. Expressing or showing anger; passionate. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] 2. Affecting or moving the tender emotions, esp. pity or grief; full of pathos; as, a pathetic song or story. "Pathetic action." --Macaulay. [1913 Webster] No theory of the passions can teach a man to be pathetic. --E. Porter. [1913 Webster] Pathetic muscle (Anat.), the superior oblique muscle of the eye. Pathetic nerve (Anat.), the fourth cranial, or trochlear, nerve, which supplies the superior oblique, or pathetic, muscle of the eye. The pathetic, a style or manner adapted to arouse the tender emotions. [1913 Webster]
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):

pathetic adj 1: deserving or inciting pity; "a hapless victim"; "miserable victims of war"; "the shabby room struck her as extraordinarily pathetic"- Galsworthy; "piteous appeals for help"; "pitiable homeless children"; "a pitiful fate"; "Oh, you poor thing"; "his poor distorted limbs"; "a wretched life" [syn: hapless, miserable, misfortunate, pathetic, piteous, pitiable, pitiful, poor, wretched] 2: inspiring mixed contempt and pity; "their efforts were pathetic"; "pitiable lack of character"; "pitiful exhibition of cowardice" [syn: pathetic, pitiable, pitiful] 3: inspiring scornful pity; "how silly an ardent and unsuccessful wooer can be especially if he is getting on in years"- Dashiell Hammett [syn: pathetic, ridiculous, silly]
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:

87 Moby Thesaurus words for "pathetic": affecting, affective, afflictive, beggarly, beneath contempt, bitter, bleak, cheap, cheerless, cheesy, comfortless, common, contemptible, crummy, deplorable, depressing, depressive, despicable, discomforting, dismal, dismaying, distressful, distressing, doleful, dolorific, dolorogenic, dolorous, dreary, emotional, emotive, feeble, gaudy, gimcracky, grievous, heartrending, inadequate, joyless, lamentable, mean, measly, meretricious, miserable, mournful, moving, painful, paltry, petty, piddling, piteous, pitiable, pitiful, plaintive, poignant, poor, puny, regrettable, rubbishy, rueful, sad, saddening, scrubby, scruffy, scummy, scurvy, scuzzy, shabby, sharp, shoddy, sore, sorrowful, sorry, stirring, touching, tragic, trashy, trumpery, two-for-a-cent, two-for-a-penny, twopenny, twopenny-halfpenny, uncomfortable, valueless, vile, woebegone, woeful, worthless, wretched