Bathos meaning

bāthŏs, -thôs
An abrupt, often ludicrous change from the lofty to the ordinary or trivial in writing or speech; unintentional anticlimax.
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False pathos; sentimentality.
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Hackneyed quality; triteness.
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The definition of bathos means an abrupt switch in writing style from fancy and epic to common and trivial, whether in wording or subject.

An example of bathos is comparing a ballerina's beautiful pose to that of a household pet's sleeping position.

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An abrupt change in style, usually from high to low; an unintended transition of style; an anticlimax.
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Apparent hyperbole or praise marked by comic dilution or digression.
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I like you more than I can say; but I'll not sink into a bathos of sentiment: Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte - 1847.

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Origin of bathos

  • Greek depth from bathus deep

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Ancient Greek βάθος (bathos, “depth”). Used metaphorically from 1638 (Robert Sanderson). First used ironically by Pope (Bathos, 1727), in contrast to ὕψος (hypsos, “sublimity”).

    From Wiktionary