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illustration Bathos



Part of speech: noun

Origin: Greek, mid 17th century


(especially in a literary work) an effect of anticlimax created by an unintentional lapse in mood from the sublime to the trivial or ridiculous.

Examples of Bathos in a sentence

"The ridiculous climax left everyone with a deep sense of bathos."

"The avant-garde play left the audience in bathos and confusion."

About Bathos

While this noun originated in Greek to mean "depth" in the 17th century, it found its modern legs in the writings of Alexander Pope, an influential English poet.

Did you Know?

An anticlimatic finale can ruin even the most popular shows. The finale of fantasy show "Game of Thrones," for example, instilled such a deep sense of bathos in so many viewers that positive discussion of the show disappeared almost overnight.

illustration Bathos

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