[Deactivated user]
can you explain the difference between the meaning of pitiful and pathetic? thank you in advance :)
Aug 6, 2014 4:58 AM
Answers · 3
The differences are indeed very small. Here are the definitions from the Oxford Dictionary: Pitiful: Deserving or arousing pity. Pathetic: Arousing pity, especially through vulnerability or sadness. Note that there is a popular informal use of "pathetic" to mean "miserably inadequate" as in "a pathetic excuse".
August 6, 2014
I can't think of a difference. I would use them completely interchangeably.
August 6, 2014
"Pathetic" is clearly of Greek origin. At least the "-ful" of "pitiful" is of Germanic origin. There lies the difference. The effect of the Battle of Hastings sheds light. In an English poem meant to reach the heart you would want to use "pitiful". "Pathetic" is more "brain-oriented". ----------------------- Source: Linguist Farmer
August 6, 2014
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