pathetic definition, meaning - what is pathetic in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

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English definition of “pathetic”

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pathetic

adjective uk   /pəˈθet.ɪk/  us   /-ˈθet̬-/

pathetic adjective (SAD)

C2 causing feelings of sadness, sympathy, or sometimes lack of respect, especially because a person or an animal is suffering: The refugees were a pathetic sight - starving, frightened and cold. After the accident he became a pathetic figure, a shadow of his former self.
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pathetic adjective (UNSUCCESSFUL)

C2 disapproving making someone feel no respect, often because unsuccessful or showing no ability, effort, or bravery: a pathetic attempt/joke/excuse Are you telling me you're frightened to speak to her? Don't be so pathetic!
pathetically
adverb uk   us   /-ɪ.kəl.i/
Other former captives spoke of pathetically inadequate food rations. My parents' advice on sex was pathetically inadequate.
(Definition of pathetic from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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