Etymology
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pitiable (adj.)

mid-15c., piteable, "merciful, compassionate" (a sense now obsolete), from Old French piteable "compassionate, merciful, pious" (13c.; Modern French pitoyable), from piteer "to pity" (see pity (v.)). Meaning "deserving pity, pitiful" is recorded from late 15c. Related: Pitiably.

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Definitions of pitiable

pitiable (adj.)
inspiring mixed contempt and pity;
pitiable lack of character
Synonyms: pathetic / pitiful
pitiable (adj.)
deserving or inciting pity; "the shabby room struck her as extraordinarily pathetic"- Galsworthy;
pitiable homeless children
Synonyms: hapless / miserable / misfortunate / pathetic / piteous / pitiful / poor / wretched
From wordnet.princeton.edu