Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “pathetic”

See all translations

pathetic

adjective
 
 
/pəˈθetɪk/
BAD informal showing no skill, effort, or bravery: He made a rather pathetic attempt to apologize. You're too frightened to speak to her? Come on, that's pathetic! It was a pathetic performance.Useless and futile
SAD sad and weak: Four times the pathetic little creature fell to the ground.Sympathy and compassion
pathetically adverb a pathetically small amount of money
(Definition of pathetic from the Cambridge Learners Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “pathetic” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

ice over

If an area of water ices over, it becomes covered with a layer of ice.

Word of the Day

Let’s celebrate! (words and phrases for parties)

by Kate Woodford,
December 17, 2014
​​​ With Christmas and New Year almost upon us, we thought it a good time to look at the language of parties and celebrations. First, let’s start with the word ‘party’ itself. To have or throw a party or, less commonly, to give a party is to arrange a party: We’re having a

Read More 

cinderella surgery noun

December 15, 2014
cosmetic surgery to the feet We have all heard of people having nose jobs, boob jobs and liposuction – but now a new trend growing in popularity in America: Cinderella surgery.

Read More