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Wordnet 3.0

ADJECTIVE (3)

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

2. bad; unfortunate;
- Example: "my finances were in a deplorable state"
- Example: "a lamentable decision"
- Example: "her clothes were in sad shape"
- Example: "a sorry state of affairs"
[syn: deplorable, distressing, lamentable, pitiful, sad, sorry]

3. 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]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Pitiful \Pit"i*ful\, a. 1. Full of pity; tender-hearted; compassionate; kind; merciful; sympathetic. [1913 Webster] The Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. --James v. 11. [1913 Webster] 2. Piteous; lamentable; eliciting compassion. [1913 Webster] A thing, indeed, very pitiful and horrible. --Spenser. [1913 Webster] 3. To be pitied for littleness or meanness; miserable; paltry; contemptible; despicable. [1913 Webster] That's villainous, and shows a most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it. --Shak. [1913 Webster] Syn: Despicable; mean; paltry. See Contemptible. [1913 Webster] -- Pit"i*ful*ly, adv. -- Pit"i*ful*ness, n. [1913 Webster]
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):

pitiful adj 1: inspiring mixed contempt and pity; "their efforts were pathetic"; "pitiable lack of character"; "pitiful exhibition of cowardice" [syn: pathetic, pitiable, pitiful] 2: bad; unfortunate; "my finances were in a deplorable state"; "a lamentable decision"; "her clothes were in sad shape"; "a sorry state of affairs" [syn: deplorable, distressing, lamentable, pitiful, sad, sorry] 3: 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]
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:

118 Moby Thesaurus words for "pitiful": abominable, affecting, arrant, atrocious, awful, base, beastly, beggarly, beneath contempt, beneath one, blameworthy, brutal, cheap, cheesy, common, contemptible, crummy, debasing, degrading, demeaning, deplorable, despicable, detestable, dire, disgraceful, disgusting, doleful, dreadful, egregious, enormous, fetid, filthy, flagrant, foul, fulsome, gaudy, gimcracky, grievous, gross, gutter, hateful, heartrending, heinous, horrible, horrid, humiliating, humiliative, infamous, infra dig, infra indignitatem, insignificant, lamentable, little, loathsome, lousy, mean, meretricious, miserable, monstrous, moving, nasty, nefarious, noisome, notorious, obnoxious, odious, offensive, opprobrious, outrageous, paltry, pathetic, piteous, pitiable, poor, rank, regrettable, reprehensible, repulsive, rotten, rubbishy, rueful, sad, scandalous, schlock, scrubby, scruffy, scummy, scurvy, scuzzy, shabby, shameful, shocking, shoddy, small, sordid, sorry, squalid, terrible, too bad, touching, trashy, trifling, trumpery, two-for-a-cent, two-for-a-penny, twopenny, twopenny-halfpenny, unbecoming, unclean, unimportant, unworthy of one, valueless, vile, villainous, woeful, worst, worthless, wretched
The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906):

PITIFUL, adj. The state of an enemy of opponent after an imaginary encounter with oneself.