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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce pitiable (audio)

Dictionary definition of pitiable

Evoking feelings of pity, sympathy, or compassion due to unfortunate or distressing circumstances.
"The beggar's pitiable plea for spare change went unanswered by most passersby."

Detailed meaning of pitiable

It suggests a state of vulnerability, suffering, or hardship that elicits a sense of empathy or sorrow in others. When describing a person as pitiable, it implies that they are in a pitiful or woeful condition, often deserving of sympathy or assistance. Pitiable situations may arise from physical or emotional distress, poverty, illness, or other challenging circumstances. The term "pitiable" conveys a sense of vulnerability and invokes a desire to alleviate the suffering or improve the situation of the person or thing being described.

Example sentences containing pitiable

1. The dilapidated house stood in a pitiable state, in need of urgent repairs.
2. The abandoned puppy looked pitiable, with its matted fur and sad eyes.
3. The sight of the homeless man sleeping on the cold street was truly pitiable.
4. She told a pitiable story of her struggles and hardships.
5. The child's pitiable cries tugged at the heartstrings of everyone nearby.
6. The pitiable condition of the orphanage prompted a community fundraising effort.

History and etymology of pitiable

The adjective 'pitiable' has its origins in the Middle English word 'pitous,' which was derived from the Old French term 'piteus.' The Old French word, in turn, evolved from the Latin 'pietatem,' which meant 'piety' or 'compassion.' 'Pietatem' was formed from the Latin adjective 'pius,' signifying dutiful, devout, or compassionate. Thus, the etymology of 'pitiable' can be traced back to the Latin root 'pius,' emphasizing the notion of compassion and sympathy. Over time, 'pitiable' came to describe something that evokes feelings of pity, sympathy, or compassion due to unfortunate or distressing circumstances, reflecting its historical association with notions of empathy and kindness.

Quiz: Find the meaning of pitiable

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Further usage examples of pitiable

1. The documentary depicted the pitiable living conditions of impoverished communities.
2. His pitiable attempt to repair the broken vase only made it worse.
3. The pitiable loss of the team's star player left them struggling to compete.
4. The pitiable situation of the refugees called for immediate humanitarian aid.
5. The pitiable defeat of the underdog team brought tears to the eyes of their loyal fans.
6. The pitiable sight of the homeless woman touched my heart deeply.
7. His pitiable attempt at singing made everyone cringe in sympathy.
8. The abandoned puppy's pitiable whimpers melted our hearts instantly.
9. Her pitiable situation made me want to offer a helping hand.
10. Witnessing the pitiable state of the war-torn city left me speechless.
11. The pitiable state of the starving children moved us to tears.
12. Their pitiable living conditions made us appreciate our own homes.
13. He wore a pitiable expression after losing the championship.
14. The pitiable state of the injured bird made me call for help.
15. Her pitiable circumstances drove her to seek refuge in a shelter.
16. The pitiable state of the elderly man stirred feelings of compassion.
17. The pitiable state of the refugees highlighted the need for aid.
18. His pitiable attempts to fit in were met with kindness by others.
19. The pitiable state of the historic building saddened the community.
20. We couldn't ignore the pitiable cries of the trapped kitten.
21. Her pitiable story of loss and hardship touched many hearts.
22. The pitiable state of the environment urged us to take action.
23. Witnessing the pitiable condition of the sick child broke my heart.
24. His pitiable financial situation prompted us to offer support.
25. The pitiable state of the neglected garden called for restoration.



sympathetic, enviable, admirable, fortunate


High School 15, SAT 5 (Scholastic Assessment Test), Sadness and Misery

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