Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “pitiful”

See all translations

pitiful

adjective uk   /ˈpɪt.i.fəl/ us    /ˈpɪt̬-/
making people feel sympathy: The refugees arriving at the camp had pitiful stories to tell.C2 used to say that you consider something to be very bad or not satisfactory or not enough: a pitiful state of affairs The amount of time and money being spent on researching this disease is pitiful.
pitifully
adverb uk   /-i/ us  
pitifulness
noun [U] uk   /-nəs/ us  
(Definition of pitiful from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of pitiful?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “pitiful” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

exercise

physical activity that you do to make your body strong and healthy

Word of the Day

Byronic, Orwellian and Darwinian: adjectives from names.

by Liz Walter,
April 15, 2015
Becoming an adjective is a strange kind of memorial, but it is often a sign of a person having had real influence on the world. Science is full of examples, from Hippocrates, the Greek medic born around 460 BC, who gave his name to the Hippocratic Oath still used by doctors today,

Read More 

bio-inspiration noun

April 13, 2015
the adoption of patterns and structures found in nature for the purposes of engineering, manufacturing, science, etc. The MIT researchers actually aren’t the only robotics team to turn to cheetahs for bio-inspiration.

Read More