Word of the Whenever: Bathos

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bathos
ba·thos  (bā′thŏs′, -thôs′)
n.
1.
a. An abrupt, presumably unintended juxtaposition of the exalted and the commonplace, producing a ludicrous effect.
b. An anticlimax.
2.
a. Insincere or grossly sentimental pathos: “a richly textured man who … can be … sentimental to the brink of bathos” (Kenneth L. Woodward).
b. Banality; triteness.
[Greek, depth, from bathus, deep.]

American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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