Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Arousing or deserving of pity or compassion; lamentable.
  • adj. Arousing disdainful pity. See Synonyms at pathetic.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. That deserves, evokes or can be given pity, pitiful.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Deserving pity; wworthy of, or exciting, compassion; miserable; lamentable; piteous

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Deserving pity; worthy of or exciting compassion: applied to persons or things.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. deserving or inciting pity
  • adj. inspiring mixed contempt and pity

Etymologies

piti- +‎ -able (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • For the day came when Mulcachy rapped the chair with his whip-butt, when the attendant through the bars jabbed the iron fork into Ben Bolt's ribs, and when Ben Bolt, anything but royal, slinking like a beaten alley-cat, in pitiable terror, crawled over to the chair and sat down in it like a man.

    CHAPTER XXXIII

  • Austen did say the only thing that renders a single women pitiable is poverty, in Emma, I think.

    An interview with Helen Fielding by Ashton Applewhite

  • Bolt, anything but royal, slinking like a beaten alley-cat, in pitiable terror, crawled over to the chair and sat down in it like

    Chapter 33

  • She wrung her hands in pitiable uncertainty; then suddenly seized upon the thought that she was no longer acting in her own interest but in Raymon's; that she was going to him, not in search of happiness, but to make him happy, and that, even though she were to be accursed for all eternity, she would be sufficiently recompensed if she embellished her lover's life.

    Indiana

  • She felt his sympathy-filled eyes soaking into her back, labeling her pitiable.

    Enchanted Ivy

  • But his attempt seems to us to disclose a more extraordinary insensibility to the real demands of the case, and to what we cannot help calling the pitiable inadequacy of his own explanation, than we could have conceived possible in so keen and practised a mind.

    Occasional Papers Selected from the Guardian, the Times, and the Saturday Review, 1846-1890

  • She is "pitiable," guilty of "track-covering, the shame that flickers beneath the arrogance."

    Point of View in Fiction

  • Throw in the cars 'product-placement appearances on "Entourage," "The Sopranos" and "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" and you paint a picture of a brand that is becoming synonymous with a kind of pitiable narcissism, a gum-smacking, Garden State idiocy.

    A Shapely Visitor From Planet Maserati

  • I At the outbreak of war in September 1939 the British Merchant Navy was in a parlous state indeed - 'pitiable' would probably be a more accurate term.

    San Andreas

  • I do not mean to use that word "pitiable" chiefly in the bodily sense, though there's so much of that.

    Quiet Talks on Following the Christ

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