pathetic Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Meaning of “pathetic” in the English Dictionary

"pathetic" in British English

See all translations

patheticadjective

uk   /pəˈθet.ɪk/  us   /pəˈθet̬.ɪk/
  • pathetic adjective (SAD)

C2 causingfeelings 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 ​formerself.
See also
  • pathetic adjective (UNSUCCESSFUL)

C2 disapproving unsuccessful or ​showing no ​ability, ​effort, or ​bravery, so that ​peoplefeel no ​respect : a pathetic ​attempt/​joke/​excuse Are you ​telling me you're ​frightened to ​speak to her? Don't be so pathetic!
pathetically
adverb uk   /pəˈθet.ɪ.kəl.i/  us   /pəˈθet̬.ɪ.kəl.i/
Other ​formercaptivesspoke of pathetically ​inadequatefoodrations. My ​parents' ​advice on ​sex was pathetically ​inadequate.
(Definition of pathetic from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"pathetic" in American English

See all translations

patheticadjective

 us   /pəˈθet̬·ɪk/
  • pathetic adjective (SAD)

causing ​feelings of ​sadness or ​sympathy: I ​think it’s pathetic that only ​half of the ​eligiblevoterstend to ​vote.
  • pathetic adjective (UNSUCCESSFUL)

unsuccessful, ​useless, or ​worthless: a pathetic ​excuse Bernie’s ​hitting was ​pretty pathetic!
pathetically
adverb  us   /pəˈθet̬·ɪ·kli/
a pathetically ​smalldog
(Definition of pathetic from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of pathetic?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

More meanings of “pathetic”

There, their and they’re – which one should you use?
There, their and they’re – which one should you use?
by ,
April 27, 2016
by Liz Walter If you are a learner of English and you are confused about the words there, their and they’re, let me reassure you: many, many people with English as their first language share your problem! You only have to take a look at the ‘comments’ sections on the website of, for example, a popular

Read More 

Word of the Day

nutty

containing, tasting of, or similar to nuts

Word of the Day

bio-banding noun
bio-banding noun
April 25, 2016
in sport, grouping children according to their physical maturity rather than their age ‘When we’re grouping children for sports, we do it by age groups, but the problem is that, within those age groups, we get huge variations in biological age,’ said Dr Sean Cumming, senior lecturer at the University of Bath’s department for

Read More