What is pathetic?

We explain what is pathetic, some synonyms of this term and its definition in the fields of literature and medicine.

  1. What is pathetic?

The pathetic adjective is used to refer to what is capable of mobilizing the mood infusing it with vehement affections and particularly pain , sadness or melancholy. This word comes from the Greek pathetikos, where pathos means emotion, feeling or illness and the suffix iko means “related to.”

The most common use that is usually given to this adjective is that to refer to  something that is grotesque . We could say, then, that this use of the word is closely related to ridicule.

The main purpose of using this word is to disqualify the other. That is to say, it is used as a means of aggression towards a person or situation to indicate that their action or way of being causes discomfort, shame or laughter in the people around them .

Synonyms : In order to understand even more precisely the meaning of this concept, we can say that touching, painful, exciting, dramatic, disturbing, impressive or tragic are some of the many synonyms that correspond to this word.

  1. Definition of pathetic in literature

The word “pathetic” is neither negative nor pejorative, but it is related to empathy.

In the field of literature , there is a famous expression that uses this concept called ” pathetic fallacy “, which refers to that resource of the description of a series of objects that have no life and belong to nature , to which it will grant them a series of certain feelings, as well as sensations, which can only be attributed to human beings .

In this case, the use of the word “pathetic” is neither negative nor pejorative, but is related to empathy . If we compare it with rhetorical figures , it has common characteristics with personification because both attribute human sensations, abilities and emotions to inanimate objects; however, the pathetic fallacy is less formal than the latter.

  1. Definition of pathetic in medicine

In the field of medicine and the human body, the word pathetic has a certain meaning. It is used to refer to the “pathetic nerve” (also known as the trochlear nerve) and is that nerve that is in the skull and is related to motor skills when the major oblique muscle that is in the eyes is innervated.

We can find the pathetic nerve in the middle brain and its main function is to originate a set of fibers , which will emerge from the rostral medullary veil.

This nerve is essential because it requires its proper functioning to prevent the person from suffering from a divergent strabismus, if he is experiencing paralysis. In addition, its malfunction can cause the person to have symptoms such as seeing double.

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