From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishpatheticpa‧thet‧ic /pəˈθetɪk/ ●●○ adjective 1 BADsomething or someone that is pathetic is so useless, unsuccessful, or weak that they annoy you You’re pathetic! Here, let me do it. I know it sounds pathetic now, but at the time I was frightened. Vic made a pathetic attempt to apologise.2 SYMPATHIZEmaking you feel pity or sympathy The child looked a pathetic sight. —pathetically /-kli/ adverb She whimpered pathetically.
Examples from the Corpuspathetic• Even worse, it sounded pathetic.• The arrogance of some of the has-beens in the Athletico squad is pathetic.• She's clever, but as a teacher she's pathetic.• The movie's special effects are absolutely pathetic.• We found a small dog sitting outside the back door, looking pathetic.• There is something pathetic about a 40-year-old man who still has his mother do his laundry.• I just felt pathetic, ashamed, embarrassed and ugly.• a pathetic attempt at seduction• I can't believe we wasted our money on that pathetic comedian last night.• Yang looked at me with a pathetic expression on his face.• pathetic images of half-starved children• But each day the silence worked on me-and my pathetic longing.• It was really pathetic, meeting him like that in the flower shop.• And she found it interesting that Sandra would project her own pathetic pursuit of Matthew on to some one else.• How pathetic they had seemed at the time, how weak, their eyes blazing with fear, like trapped animals.Origin pathetic (1500-1600) French pathétique, from Latin, from Greek, from paschein “to suffer”