Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

pathetic - definition and synonyms

 
Close
What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close
ThesaurusThesaurus
Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
adjective     pathetic pronunciation in American English
/pəˈθetɪk/
  1. 1
    useless or not effective in an annoying way

    He made a pathetic attempt to explain his failure.

    That’s the most pathetic excuse I’ve ever heard.

  2. 2
    if someone or something looks or sounds pathetic, you feel sympathy for them

    The child looked so small and pathetic.

    a pathetic story

derived word

 
BuzzWord

hygge

a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

sofar

a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play