Definition of pitiable in English:



  • 1Deserving or arousing pity.

    ‘the men were in a pitiable condition’
    • ‘The family of the deceased Avtar Singh is in a very pitiable condition.’
    • ‘To colonists, idiocy was a pitiable and vulnerable condition, one more manifestation of God's diverse creations.’
    • ‘"You have done a wonderful job in bringing Vivek's pitiable condition into the limelight.’
    • ‘It's an odd, disturbing, and pitiable pattern of behaviour.’
    • ‘The bloodshed there, and in Romeo and Juliet could be called calamitous, but it was not tragically pitiable.’
    • ‘A few imperfect specimens are about, people who make a living out of their pitiable condition.’
    • ‘If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.’
    • ‘Of all the survivors, those who came out of death or labour camps were the most pitiable.’
    • ‘If some doctors, motivated by pity, help such pitiable individuals to die, do they commit the offence of destroying life or not?’
    • ‘But what is pitiable is the condition of the tree.’
    • ‘I'm sure I make an appropriately pathetic, pitiable picture, sitting here with tears in my eyes, crumbs on my face, in this awful red dress.’
    • ‘The few lives that I had come across were miserable ones, pitiable creatures who had no hope left to live on with.’
    • ‘The condition of students waiting for their exams is pitiable.’
    • ‘When these young people return, despite being richer or better educated or both, they still have no pigs, a condition considered pitiable by the older generation.’
    • ‘So these pathetic people hide their pitiable gutless selves in the cloak of anonymity.’
    • ‘He, despite these daughterly attentions, is perceived by the Colonel to be in ‘a condition of pitiable infirmity’.’
    • ‘The pitiable condition of animals in zoos has been a matter of great concern to animal welfare activists.’
    • ‘In either case, the suffering of the person with MPD is equally pitiable and deserving of our understanding, not derision.’
    • ‘Shame is a pitiable and clownish condition, most appallingly pitiable and clownish on television.’
    • ‘Keeley came five minutes later and I got up to hug her, clinging to her in the most pitiable way a heartbroken person could.’
    touching, moving, sad, saddening, affecting, pitiful, piteous, pitiable, pathetic, sorrowful, mournful, tearful, wretched, miserable, bitter, painful, distressing, disturbing, heart-rending, heartbreaking, tear-jerking, plaintive, upsetting, tragic
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  • 2Contemptibly poor or small.

    ‘a pitiable imitation of the real thing’
    • ‘Lamenting her partner's pitiable dancing, one of the female characters pleas for a real dancer, and her call is answered by an immodest Balthasar decked out in what appears to be a flashy 1980s-style suit.’
    • ‘It is pertinent to mention the condition of State finances that are in a pitiable condition.’
    • ‘Data reveals that the condition of the small-scale industrial units is more pitiable.’
    • ‘The journey is tough as the transportation facility in the region is poor and the roads are in a pitiable condition.’
    paltry, miserable, meagre, beggarly, insufficient, insignificant, trifling, negligible, pitiable, derisory
    dreadful, awful, terrible, lamentable, hopeless, wretched, sorry, poor, bad, feeble, well below par, pitiable, woeful, inadequate, contemptible, deplorable, despicable, laughable, worthless
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Late Middle English: from Old French piteable, from piteer to pity.