Definition of pathos in English:



  • [mass noun] A quality that evokes pity or sadness.

    ‘the actor injects his customary humour and pathos into the role’
    • ‘His eventual realisation that his life has been a series of failures is a rare moment of genuine pathos.’
    • ‘At the very least, he needs to have some pathos to show one or two human qualities.’
    • ‘He has a genius for creating emotional drama that is devoid of pathos.’
    • ‘Here at last we have all the drama, tragedy, pathos and humour those courtroom appearances produced.’
    • ‘They present a perfect blend of pathos, wonder, derision, fear, disgust and fury.’
    • ‘The poise and pathos of the music remains the same, but its as if it's passed into another language.’
    • ‘He combines the right amount of pathos, surrealism and humour to make the script work.’
    • ‘Filled with pathos and grandeur, they demand to be seen in the flesh.’
    • ‘These were comedians whose work was steeped in social commentary and rich with pathos.’
    • ‘They have a perfect blend of humour, poignancy, pathos and a social message.’
    • ‘It had laughs and characters, and moments of what could almost be called pathos.’
    • ‘The novel begins as a rather classical tale of pathos and becomes an inquiry into storytelling itself.’
    • ‘This play strikes a balance between comedy and pathos which rings true of life's mixed blessings.’
    • ‘It is astonishing that so much pathos can be wrung from the fate of a toy.’
    • ‘The blend of pathos and grandeur in the image might even be said to do justice to its subject.’
    • ‘The play itself had some great lines of wit but also lines of great pathos.’
    • ‘The pathos of the scene against the background of Christmas cheer gives the film an unusual power.’
    • ‘He gives humanity and pathos to a character that a lesser actor might turn into a complete buffoon.’
    • ‘The pathos in the play struck the small group, which watched it with rapt attention.’
    • ‘But these moments of pathos are redundant in what is probably the most breathlessly exuberant movie yet made.’
    poignancy, tragedy, sadness, pitifulness, piteousness, pitiableness, plaintiveness, sorrowfulness
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Mid 17th century: from Greek pathos suffering; related to paskhein suffer and penthos grief.