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unspecified meaning
  • He was someone in the know who was always striving pathetically to find out what was going on.
  • Her desolation was pathetic as she sat with her tempestuous, proud, lovely head bowed, her shoulders sagging, her spirit melting.

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  • ’Yes, sir,’ murmured Colonel Scheisskopf Colonel Scheisskopf wilted pathetically, and General Peckem blessed the fates that had sent him a weakling for a subordinate.
  • He sat gazing in clammy want at her full red lips and dimpled cheeks as he listened to Major Danby describe in a monotonous, didactic male drone the heavy concentrations of flak awaiting them at Avignon, and he moaned in deep despair suddenly at the thought that he might never see again this lovely woman to whom he had never spoken a word and whom he now loved so pathetically.
  • He tried to remember all the soldiers, and he resurrected images of all the elderly people he had known when a child — all the aunts, uncles, neighbors, parents and grandparents, his own and everyone else’s, and all the pathetic, deluded shopkeepers who opened their small, dusty stores at dawn and worked in them foolishly until midnight.
  • …his order increasing the number of missions to sixty and had failed abysmally in that endeavor too, and the chaplain was ready now to capitulate to despair entirely but was restrained by the memory of his wife, whom he loved and missed so pathetically with such sensual and exalted ardor, and by the lifelong trust he had placed in the wisdom and justice of an immortal, omnipotent, omniscient, humane, universal, anthropomorphic, English-speaking, Anglo-Saxon, pro-American God, which…
  • …that idea, and he bolted for his life wildly on each mission the instant his bombs were away, hollering, ’Hard, hard, hard, hard, you bastard, hard!’ at McWatt and hating McWatt viciously all the time as though McWatt were to blame for their being up there at all to be rubbed out by strangers, and everybody else in the plane kept off the intercom, except for the pitiful time of the mess on the mission to Avignon when Dobbs went crazy in mid-air and began weeping pathetically for help.

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To see samples from other sources, click a word sense below:
as in: Her pathetic look saddened us. Define
pitiful (arousing pity)
as in: a pathetic attempt to insult me Define
so bad it is laughable or contemptible -- possibly mixed with pity
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