Meaning of “pathetic” in the English Dictionary

"pathetic" in British English

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patheticadjective

uk /pəˈθet.ɪk/ us /pəˈθet̬.ɪk/

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.
See also
pathetically
adverb uk /pəˈθet.ɪ.kəl.i/ us /pəˈθet̬.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 Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"pathetic" in American English

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patheticadjective

us /pəˈθet̬·ɪk/

pathetic adjective (SAD)

causing feelings of sadness or sympathy:

I think it’s pathetic that only half of the eligible voters tend 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 small dog

(Definition of “pathetic” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)