• (British) IPA: /ˈbeɪθɒs/

bathos (uncountable)

  1. Overdone or treacly attempts to inspire pathos.
  2. (now uncommon) Depth.
    • 1638, Robert Sanderson, "A sermon preached at Newport in the Isle of Wight", II.101:
      There is such a height, and depth, and length, and breadth in that love; such a βάθος in every dimension of it.
  3. (literature, the arts) Risible failure on the part of a work of art to properly affect its audience, particularly owing to
    1. anticlimax: an abrupt transition in style or subject from high to low.
    2. banality: unaffectingly cliché or trite treatment of a topic.
    3. immaturity: lack of serious treatment of a topic.
    4. hyperbole: excessiveness
  4. (literature, the arts) The ironic use of such failure for satiric or humorous effect.
  5. (uncommon) A nadir, a low point particularly in one's career.
    • 1814, Thomas Jefferson, Writings, IV.240:
      How meanly has he closed his inflated career! What a sample of the bathos will his history present!
    • 2018, Matthew d'Ancona, The Tories are a party in crisis, their identity in desperate shape in the Guardian:
      Thus can the ideology of the fringe, the pinstripe mutterings of the nativist few, end up determining the trajectory of an entire nation. This is where bathos meets tragedy.
Synonyms Antonyms Translations Translations
  • French: mauvais pathos

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