Bathetic describes something that's overly sentimental, gushy, and worse yet — insincere. Soap operas are known for their bathetic emotionalism, because the characters cry and wail and scheme over the silliest things.

Bathetic (the noun is bathos) comes from the Greek word for "depth” but not as in the ocean floor but as in “anticlimax, a descent from the sublime to the ridiculous.” Being bathetic is usually not done on purpose. A bathetic scene in a movie might have a character fall to her knees and scream, “Nooooooo!” because her son left his socks on the floor again. Don't confuse bathetic with pathetic, which means "pitiful."

Definitions of bathetic
  1. adjective
    effusively or insincerely emotional
    “a bathetic novel”
    synonyms: drippy, hokey, kitschy, maudlin, mawkish, mushy, sappy, schmaltzy, schmalzy, sentimental, slushy, soppy, soupy
    of more than usual emotion
Word Family

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